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

Back to Index

Back to the Top
Back to Index


Tally = 130 arrested and 38 who appeared in Court and are out on bail. 92
still technically under arrest and due to appear in Court.

Late News just in from Chinhoyi: Four farmers were putting out a bush fire
late afternoon when a group of Police and land committee officials arrived
and decided to arrest them. We wait to hear what this charge will be but
they remain in custody tonight!!!

News from Nyabira: Tony Smit - news from Nyabira is that he is still in
detention although he has been permitted medical attention. Police indicate
that they await the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture to confirm that the
farm has been delisted.

The bail conditions vary from province to province. Chegutu /Selous Bail Zd$
5000 and those farmers have been given 24 hours to vacate the farms until
they appear in court. In Mashonaland Central, the same conditions but bail
at Z$ 10 000.

In Bindura a court was set up with an enforced representation by one lawyer
who was on hand. These farmers had the option to allow this lawyer to
represent them or they could go back to jail until a weekday.

In the absence of farmers Police are finding it hard to arrest furniture!!!

Farmers issued with summons on Thursday 15 August 2002 appeared in court,
they were remanded out of custody with no conditions except Zim $ 5000 bail.

1. Mac Crawford - CFU (Commercial Farmers Union) Regional
2. Gavin Connolly
3. Mat Gloss
4. P. J. Cloete - rearrested today 17 Aug 2002
5. L. C. Van Vuuren
6. Dudley Rogers 
7. Colin Martin - Umzingwane (was remanded - free bail)

Arrested and still in custody at present:
8. Chris Jarred - (Arrested 16 Aug) FA Chairman. Suffers from
severe BP.
9. Mike Wood (Arrested 16 Aug)
10. Craig Wood (son to Mike) (Arrested 16 Aug)
11. Wally Herbst (Wildlife Producers Association) Chairman
(Arrested 16 Aug)
12. John Herbst (Son to Wally) (Arrested 16 Aug)
13. Robin Greaves 64 yrs old. (Arrested 16 Aug) He is 95% blind
and an invalid. Dissidents shot him three times in the early 80's. Was badly
burnt last year in a fire.
14. Gary Godfrey  - son in law to Robin. (Arrested 16 Aug)
15. David Olds (Arrested 16 Aug) Brother to Martin Olds and son
to Gloria Olds, both murdered within a year of each other. No arrests for
both murders to date.
16. Craig Anderson (Arrested 16 Aug)
17. Mike Querl (Arrested 16 Aug) Already off farm but handed
themselves in solidarity with their fellow farmers.
18. Brian Querl  (Arrested 16 Aug) Already off farm but handed
themselves in solidarity with their fellow farmers.
19. Charles Stirling (Arrested 17 Aug)
20. Alan Lewis (Arrested 17 Aug)

21. Anthony Randall (Arrested 17 Aug)

22. Eddie Venables (Not Fred Gerber) (Arrested 16 Aug)
23. Cedrick Wilde (Arrested 16 Aug)
24. Bill McKinley (Arrested 16 Aug)
25. PJ Huckle (Arrested 16 Aug)
26. M Huckle (Arrested 16 Aug)
27. Dennis Streak (Arrested 17 Aug)
28. Bennet Streak (Arrested 17 Aug)
29. Alex Goosen (Arrested 16 Aug)
30. George Parkin  (Arrested 16 Aug)

31. Andrew White (Arrested 16 Aug) Released as Section 8 not
fully legal.
32. Ian Pattullo (Arrested 17 Aug)

33. Mike Bramfield (Arrested 16 Aug)
34. Aubrey Chatham Lugo Ranching (Arrested 16 Aug)
35. Jim Chatham (Arrested 17 Aug)
36. Harry Bennie (Arrested 17 Aug)
37. Gavin Robinowitch (Arrested 17 Aug)
38. Peter van der Berg  (70) - (being held out of custody due to
ill health but will appear in Court with the rest)

Matopos South moved to Gwanda
39. Ben Van Vuuren (Arrested 16 Aug)
40. Piet Cloete (Arrested 17 Aug)

Beit Bridge
41. Raphael Moyo - foreman of Mavimba Ranch (Arrested 17 Aug)
42. James Edwards (Arrested 17 Aug)
43. Digby Bristow (Arrested 17 Aug)

West Nicholson
44. Rupert Barlow (Arrested 17 Aug)
45. Peter Brookman (Arrested 17 Aug)

Esigodini/ Umzingwane
46. Scott Buchan (Arrested 17 Aug)
47. Karin Keefer (Mrs) (Arrested 17 Aug)

Wedza  (All farmers went to court today and released on $ 5000 bail)
48. Tony Olivie (Arrested 16 Aug)
49. John Bibby (farm invaded post Abuja) (Arrested 16 Aug)
50. Peter Bibby (Son the John) (Arrested 16 Aug)
51. Hank Viljoen (being held out of custody due to ill health)
(Arrested 16 Aug)
52. Flo McKay (Mrs) (70) - arrested (17 Aug) in place of her son
Scott von Memerty who is in Mozambique. She was later released but told to
report on a daily basis until her son can be arrested.
53. Giles Dorward (Arrested 16 Aug) Out on Bail to month end.
54. Sarel Meyer (Arrested 16 Aug) Out on Bail to month end.
55. Boet Smith - went instead of his father (Arrested 16 Aug)

Macheke (Charged and out on Bail of Z$ 5000.)
15. Dave Bradley
16. S. Arnold
17. G. Botha
18. J. Melrose


Trelawney: Darwendale Police
56. Jim Brown - (Arrested 16 Aug)
57. Mike Barry - (Arrested 16 Aug)
58. Warwick Evans (Arrested 17 Aug)
59. Bob Carey - (Arrested 17 Aug)
60. Nick Winskill - (Arrested 17 Aug - being held out of custody
due to health reasons)
Jodie Crowley - Released as he is only on a preliminary notice.

Mt Hampden  (Nyabira Police Station)
61. Hamish Turner (Arrested 17 Aug)
62. Tony Smith (Arrested 17 Aug) Apparently picked up from his
home in Chisipite in Harare by Police / War vets and badly beaten up.
Possible broken leg and injuries to head. Farm leased to someone else but is
under Section 8.

63. Peter Dilmatis (Arrested 16 Aug)

64. Mr Ian Barker (Not Glen) (Arrested 17 Aug)
Kay Bayer (Was released after a tour around in the Police vehicle to
make an example of her.

Doma/ Mhangura
65. Wessels Viljoen (Arrested 16 Aug)
66. Willie (Not Peter) Viljoen (Arrested 16 Aug)
67. Frank Stedyl (Arrested 16 Aug)
68. Peter Du Toit (Arrested 16 Aug)
69. Clive Night (Arrested 16 Aug)
70. Johan Du Toit (Arrested 16 Aug)
71. Jerry Van der Merwe (Arrested 16 Aug)
72. Rory Irvine (Arrested 17 Aug)
73. John Smithright (Arrested 17 Aug)
Mr Horsley (Arrested 16 Aug) Confirm that he is not in custody.

74. Dave Pentland-Smith (Arrested 17 Aug)

75. Derek Skutt (Arrested 16 Aug)

Eiffel Flats 
76. Mike Stone (Arrested 17 Aug)
77. Rob Edwards (Arrested 17 Aug)

78. Kamfer Pasque (Arrested 17 Aug)
79. Pete Martin (Arrested 17 Aug)
80. Billy Nicholson (Arrested 17 Aug)
81. Jan Zietsman (Arrested 17 Aug)
82. Piet Zietsman (Arrested 17 Aug)
83. Mrs Jean Baldwin (Arrested 17 Aug)
84. Bill Pace (Arrested 17 Aug)

Battlefields - Kadoma rural 
85. Douglas Alexander (Arrested 17 Aug)

86. Kevin Scott (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail Zd$
87. Bob Kilburn (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail Zd$
88. Bruce Henderson (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail
Zd$ 5000
89. Roy Fuller (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail Zd$
90. Roy Lilford (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail Zd$
91. Richard Werrit (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail
Zd$ 5000
92. Callum Patterson (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail
Zd$ 5000
93. Douglas Carlisle (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail
Zd$ 5000
94. Andrew Ferreira (Arrested 17 Aug) Appeared in Court - Bail
Zd$ 5000


Guruve North All now out on bail of Z$ 10 000
95. Alan Jack (Arrested 17 Aug)
96. Dudley Warwick (Arrested 17 Aug)
97. Colin Smith (Arrested 17 Aug) manager of Dan Swart
98. Dan Swart (Arrested 17 Aug) owner
99. Jemma Nicholson (Mrs) (Arrested 17 Aug)

Matepatepa All now out on bail of Z$ 10 000
100. Simon Sherwood (Arrested 16 Aug)
101. Lance Nicolle (Arrested 16 Aug)

102. Paul Wood (Arrested 17 Aug)
103. Archie Wood (Arrested 17 Aug)
They have made a statement (the police insisted on writing the first part of
the statement) and now await arrival of someone of authority to see whether
they can be released. Now confirmed to stay in to Monday.

104.       Hugo van Aarde (Arrested 17 Aug)
105.       Albertus Pepler (Arrested 17 Aug)
106.       Mac MacMurden (80yrs) (Arrested 17 Aug)
107.       Bertus Pepler (Arrested 17 Aug)
108. A O Mac Murdon  - Masvingo East and Central
109. A J Pepler - Masvingo East & Central
110. J Edwards - Mwenezi
111. N Richards  - Masvingo east & Central
112. D Odendaal  - Gutu/Chatsworth
113. C Odendaal  - Gutu/Chatsworth
114. J Whitehead - Mwenezi
115. C Schimpers  -  Mwenezi
116. C Vosloo - Gutu/Chatsworth
117. J H Erasmus  - Gutu/Chatsworth these were out of
custody after signing statements.

MIDDLE SABI  (Due For Court Monday)
118. Phil Baker
119. Chris Menage

6 persons signed warned and cautioned statements - held out of

G Goddard Ibeka Farm from Masvingo East & Central

Report from Ben Freeth 16th August 2002.
Impalavale Farm in the district of Kadoma.  We have got police
officer-in-charge Battlefields, C.I.O, Support Unit, Army and members of the
Lands Committee, who are the prospective settlers, currently evicting the
owner.  He is having to load lorries with all his furniture and equipment
while these individuals look on.  Mervyn Jelliman has currently got 300
hectares of Winter Cereals all under irrigation in the lands, and he will
have to abandon these too.  He grew this on the strength of a meeting with
Governor Chanetsa in Chinhoyi on the 20th May 2002.  The Governor in the
meeting said "if you have Section 8's you will be allowed to plant", when
asked whether the farmers would be able to reap their crops he said "we are
a Government, not street kids".  The PROPOL said in this same meeting that
any settlers that moved on after the 31st March 2001 were there illegally.
Mr Jelliman has only had settlers since he planted his crop.  Police say
that a signal has come from the Deputy Commissioner - Operations, saying no
farmers with Section 8's should be allowed to remain on their property and
must be evicted.  If they do not leave their property they are to be
arrested.  Mervyn Jelliman has decided that he must leave rather than face
imprisonment for living in his home.  He has no other home, no other farm
and his father and brother carved Impalavale out of virgin bush over the
last 50 years.  It is a mystery as to why he is the one being targeted in
this area.  Possibly it is due to his highly developed infrastructure and
the fact that he has got 300 hectares of crops under irrigation in the
ground.  As such he is the biggest operator still allowed to operate in the
whole Kadoma district, where of nearly 100 title deeds only four have been
allowed to operate recently.  There are now only three.  Mervyns's father
moved out of his house to a house in town two weeks ago after having put his
whole life into the farm.  Mervyn twin brother Wally is currently on a plane
to Australia, having had to abandon his house. 

CFU Report 17 August 2002  - More than $3.72 billion dollars worth of
ongoing crop and livestock production is at risk, ranging from a potential
loss of 25% of the coffee crop in the Chipinge district, to large areas of
wheat and barley, particularly in Mashonaland West Province, while some
dairy operations are at risk in the Midlands.  In Matabeleland Province
cattle operations are severely disrupted, while wildlife and ostrich
properties go untended due to the detention of their owners.   In the
Highveld provinces of Mashonaland tobacco grading will be disrupted,
resulting in a short supply of Virginia tobacco to the auction floors, while
tobacco seedbeds may be lost. .
It has been calculated that $5.6 billion dollars worth of farm assets are at
risk on these untended properties.  On 10 farms alone in the Chegutu area
$570 million worth of movable assets are at risk.
In Manicaland two farmers were remanded in custody until 21st August, one of
whom is 67 years old and on medication, despite vigorous protestations by
their legal counsel.  In Matabeleland, which has had twice as many farmers
detained as any other province, 25 farmers remain in custody, including 1
farmer who was granted bail in Gwanda yesterday, who was re-arrested today,
despite being given a date to appear in Court.   

In Midlands Province there were no arrests or detentions until this
afternoon, when 5 farmers had been called to Gweru Central for questioning.

17 August 2002 Report from Beit Bridge - Just a note from me to tell you
what occurred on our farm last night.  We have a cattle farm, namely Mavimba
Ranch, in the Beitbridge district.  It has a section 8 but the banks have
not, as far as we know been advised of Governments intention to acquire this
farm.  The ranch is run as a cattle ranch and we normally have hunts on it.
This year however we have had to cancel all hunts due to the war vets in
situe.  The farm is owned by a company, B K Cawood Pvt. Ltd.  but is leased
by Anzac Ranching, and run by Mike Rauch.
At about 11:00pm last night two vehicles, one white land rover with
plainclothes men and one green land rover with members of the ZRP, mostly
armed, and arrived at the farm village. These men were apparently all drunk
according to the other workers! They were looking for Mike.  Fortunately, he
was not there, being away in South Africa at the time.  They then called for
the foreman, Raphael Moyo, and took him into custody.  He is being detained
for the weekend and is to appear in court on Monday.  Attempts to take food
to Raphael have been blocked by the police in Beitbridge.

For more information, please contact Jenni Williams
Mobile (263) 91 300 456 or 11 213 885
Or email <>
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Saturday, August 17, 2002 8:38 PM

Subject: The Right to Fail The Right to Make Mistakes and Fail.

Surrounded by chaos on the farms, rapid economic decline and famine conditions, I thought today to ask myself "does Africa have the right to make mistakes and to fail" and if so how does it do that with dignity?

Europe made mistakes - the Irish famine, two world wars in the 20th Century, the horrors of Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco.  America made mistakes - the civil war - highest casualties of any civil war in history, the slave trade, Vietnam.  China made mistakes and it cost them tens of millions of lives lost and untold suffering.  Cambodia had Pol Pot and so it goes.  Is it Africa's turn?  Is this a passing phase?

The global context is different of course - we live in a world of instant communication, travel is fast and easy, markets stretch across national borders and oceans, money moves and changes with a liberty that is all its own.  Africa makes mistakes and Africans flee the continent for safer havens and places that offer work, money and food.  Probably more than a quarter of the total population of Africa today, lives abroad.  Foreign remittances are one of the largest and fastest growing sources of foreign exchange and wealth in Africa.  Informal markets under value local currencies to such an extent that foreigners and Africans living abroad can buy assets in Africa at a tiny fraction of their real value.

Ours is a violent and corrupt continent, human rights are given scant regard in the struggle for power and influence, democracy is used and abused to an extent that would astonish even the most cynical.  Legal rights and constitutions take a back seat when in conflict with greed and political power.  There is money to be made in Africa, but it's the money of a politically driven Mafia that is every bit as shrewd and ruthless as their European and American counterparts.  But are they any different from a Joe Kennedy who made his money in illegal liquor during prohibition.  Does his relationship to Jack and Bob Kennedy "clean up the record" so that his past can be viewed in a different light?

No I do not think the West, or the East for that matter, has any right to point a finger at Africa and to self-righteously damn the continent and its leaders for the way they are behaving.  Perhaps it's just a phase through which we have to go to get where others have now landed.  We have a right to make mistakes and to fail as a people and as countries, even a continent, with a dignity that comes out of how we deal with these growing pains.

Right now we are making an awful mess of Zimbabwe.  We are violating the very principles for which the nationalist leaders fought with great courage and determination for nearly 70 years.  We are impoverishing our people and many will die this year while our leaders enjoy champagne breakfasts and luxury that would be the envy of a film star in Hollywood at the height of their careers.  We are destroying our productive industries and driving away the better representatives of capitalism in favour of a whole bevy of crooks and thieves who think that Africa is a great place to do business.

Of course we (Africans) are the ones who suffer most as a result.  We are becoming ever poorer, we live under terrible conditions (thank God for decent weather) and we are forced to watch helplessly as our children and friends die or leave the country for greener pastures.  To make a living we have to use our innate energy and ingenuity, often operating on the edge of legality.  Above all we have to learn to keep our heads down and to watch our backs so that when all others have fallen, we at least can still stand.

Do we deserve this?  No, obviously, but then neither did the Germans deserve Hitler or the Russians, Stalin, or the Cambodians, Pol Pot.

What we have to do when passing through this phase, above all, is not quit.
We have to have faith and vision and we have to ensure that we, at least, are doing what is right and are helping the delinquent, whoever he is, to grow up and reform.  Mugabe has the right to make mistakes and to fail as a result.  The people of this country gave him a mandate and he has abused that mandate.  He is already paying dearly for his mistakes and his failure.  He will continue to pay for them for a long time, perhaps eternity.  God in His wisdom has granted us the liberty to make mistakes and to fail and He does not always intervene to either prevent the consequences or even to ameliorate them.  We need sometimes to recognise that and the thank him for giving us the dignity of being our own person, even if it means we fall on our faces once in a while or all the time.

However, in the middle of all of these tragic periods in history, when human suffering has often been on a scale that leaves the mind numb with shock.
Humanity rises up with men and women of courage, principle and faith who eventually win the battle against the evil forces that lead to serious error and failure.  So it was the early Methodists who stopped slavery, it was Marshal who put Europe back together after Hitler.  It was an American General who rewired Japan and helped the Japanese sing again.  It was Martin Luther King who said, "we will overcome someday" and died for his cause.
South Africa produced Mandela - crafted in an apartheid jail.

Here in Zimbabwe the terrible tragedy that is Zimbabwe, is producing new heroes of the fight for liberty and justice.  They are not well educated in most cases, they are not wealthy or powerful, but they have a dream of a better Zimbabwe.  A vision of a country where race and creed and ethnic background do not matter, where women can find new dignity and power and influence in their society.  Where law does matter and the rule of law will be accepted by all, from the poorest peasant to the president as being supreme.  Where the constitution is not just a collection of "western inspired" words meant to deprive newly elected leaders of their freedom to do what they want, but the pinnacle of the legal system.  A document that every citizen will hold dear as the final protector of the values and principles on which a better life for all Zimbabweans is founded.

They chose to fight for these principles, not with guns or with violence, but through the ballot box and dialogue.  They have been beaten back twice by a ruthless and shameless regime that has used every trick in the book to deny the people of this country the right to choose their leaders, but they can never be beaten in the long term.  Every person, who has climbed on board the ZANU PF train so as to enjoy the rewards that come from life in thast privileged circle, must know that eventually justice will be done.  They cannot avoid that eventuality.  Every person, who tries to become rich by stealing the property of others, will learn that there is no security over stolen goods.  Every person who denies our people their rights and freedoms, will discover that eventually it is they themselves who suffer the loss of those very things whilst those they sought to suppress, find real freedom.

Eddie Cross Bulawayo, 18th August 2002.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

SPECIAL Farm Invasions And Security Report
Saturday 17th  August 2002

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.

107 farmers were taken from farms to police stations around the country today for continuing farming operations.   The police have been laying charges for being in contravention of Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act.  In all cases farmers have been informed that they are to remove all personal property from their farms – while some have been given time to do so no ongoing attention to crops and livestock is to be permitted.

More than $3.72  billion dollars worth of ongoing crop and livestock production is at risk, ranging from a potential loss of 25% of the coffee crop in the Chipinge district, to large areas of wheat and barley, particularly in Mashonaland West Province, while some dairy operations are at risk in the Midlands.  In Matabeleland Province cattle operations are severely disrupted, while wildlife and ostrich properties go untended due to the detention of their owners.   In the Highveld provinces of Mashonaland tobacco grading will be disrupted, resulting in a short supply of Virginia tobacco to the auction floors, while tobacco seed beds may be lost. .

It has been calculated that $5.6 billion dollars worth of farm assets are at risk on these untended properties.  On 10 farms alone in the Chegutu area $570 million worth of movable assets are at risk.

These developments follow the Court hearings in Matabeland South yesterday, where farmers with Section 8 Orders were remanded out of custody on $5 000 bail until 6th September, 2002.  Today there has been a countrywide round up by the police, of farmers in occupation of their properties.   The modus operandi employed by the police has varied on a province-by-province basis.

In most instances farmers were taken to rural police stations and bail hearings were conducted where magistrates were available.    Generally speaking farmers have been released on $5 000 bail and a Court date set within the next two weeks. 

In Manicaland two farmers were remanded in custody until 21st August, one of whom is 67 years old and on medication, despite vigorous protestations by their legal counsel.  In Matabeleland, which has had twice as many farmers detained as any other province, 25 farmers remain in custody, including 1 farmer who was granted bail in Gwanda yesterday, who was re-arrested today, despite being given a date to appear in Court.    In Midlands Province there were no arrests or detentions until this afternoon, when 5 farmers had been called to Gweru Central for questioning.   In Masvingo Province in the sugar producing areas farmers were given warned and cautioned statements and asked to return on Monday, while in Masvingo town lawyers were able to negotiate the release of  elderly farmers from Masvingo East.                                               Visit the CFU Website

Unless specifically stated that this message is a Commercial Farmers' Union communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the sender in an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are private. Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any organisation not directly affiliated to the Union. The CFU does not accept any legal responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender and transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or to external addressees.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Hindustan Times

      Pacific nations want action against Zimbabwe
      Associated Press
      Suva, Fiji, August 17

      Eleven Pacific Commonwealth nations called for tougher action on
Saturday against the government of President Robert Mugabe following an
apparent crackdown on white farmers.

      The leaders of the former British colonies said they regretted that
Mugabe had failed to respond to international calls to restore democracy in
the African nation.

      "They recommended further action by the Commonwealth should there be
no rapid change of approach by the Zimbabwe government," said a statement
issued at the close of the 33rd annual Pacific Islands Forum in Fiji.

      Mugabe's government is trying to seize white-owned farms and give them
to blacks, saying the land confiscations are needed to correct colonial-era
imbalances in land ownership.

      The farm disruptions come as half of Zimbabwe's population is facing a
hunger crisis, according to the U.N. World Food Program. The leaders of the
Pacific Commonwealth - which represent 20 percent of the Commonwealth's 54
member nations - acknowledged the need for land reform in Zimbabwe.

      But they called for an end to the forced eviction of white farmers,
and urged a resumption of dialogue between the political parties "with a
view to promote national reconciliation." Australian Prime Minister John
Howard, who chairs the Commonwealth committee on Zimbabwe, said the crisis
cannot be left to drift on indefinitely, although there are limits to what
the Commonwealth can do.

      "The internal situation is Zimbabwe is deteriorating by the day and
President Mugabe has been utterly unresponsive to the approaches by the
Secretary General of the Commonwealth and quite indifferent to world
opinion," Howard said.

      Howard would not comment on whether Zimbabwe would be expelled from
the Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies. But he and Fiji Prime
Minister Laisenia Qarase said Saturday that Zimbabwe should be treated as
Fiji was after a military coup in 2000, when the Commonwealth slapped it
with trade and other sanctions.

      New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark described the situation as
"intolerable," and said she personally felt that it was time for a harder
line against Zimbabwe.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Herald Sun Australia

Howard: Time to punish Mugabe

AUSTRALIA wants to "throw the book" at Zimbabwe and kick it out of the

Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday that time had run out for the
regime of Robert Mugabe.
He believes the Commonwealth owes it to the hungry and poor and white
Zimbabwean farmers to act.

"When you remember how the book was thrown at Fiji . . . you have to keep
that sort of thing in mind when looking at Zimbabwe," he said.

Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth after coups in 1987 and 2000.

Zimbabwe has escaped suspension or expulsion despite an observer group
finding that the March elections were rigged.

Since then, President Mugabe has moved to kick white farmers off their land
and food shortages have worsened.

"I am giving some thought to some further action in relation to Zimbabwe,"
Mr Howard said. "We have been very patient."

His tough language and his status on the three-man Commonwealth panel to
deal with Zimbabwe signals time is running out for the nation.

But Mr Howard must convince his colleagues -- South African leader Thabo
Mbeki and Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo -- of the need for tough

As he left Fiji's capital, Suva at the end of the annual three-day Pacific
Islands Forum, he also gave Pacific leaders a clear message to get their
houses in order or risk losing millions of dollars in Australian aid.

He said European countries linked aid to Africa to better administration and
it was reasonable for Australia to do the same in the Pacific.

"As a major aid donor in the region, we want to see improvements. It is not
an unreasonable requirement," he said. "We have a perfect right to say to a
country, 'Well, we will provide aid, but in return we would like certain
standards of governance to be met'."

Mr Howard also warned that terrorist groups could use poor, Pacific nations
as staging posts.

"Small, fragile countries lacking any kind of security services have the
potential to be easy targets," he said.

After two days of intense lobbying to sell Australia's record on cutting
greenhouse gas emissions, Mr Howard announced the Government would provide
$2.2 million to help island nations predict climate change.

The money will fund an upgrade of weather services across the Pacific.

Some low-lying countries, including Tuvalu, which could disappear altogether
if sea levels rise, had tried to take a hard line against Australia for not
signing the Kyoto protocols on greenhouse gas emissions.

But as Mr Howard left the summit, he said the other 15 members of the forum
now better understood Australia's strong commitment to meeting the emission
targets under Kyoto.

The Forum issued a final document yesterday committing all nations to
combating terrorism, fighting climate change and improving government
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Dear Family and Friends,
As I sit here and write this letter on a warm and windy Saturday morning all
hell is breaking loose in Zimbabwe. At this moment 29 farmers have been
arrested but the number is changing every hour. In a sickening but
predictably cowardly fashion, farmers are being arrested over the weekend
when the courts are closed and magistrates are not available for bail
hearings. One of the men arrested has had both his brother and his mother
murdered by militant government supporters in the last two years. On a
number of farms around Marondera farmers are simply being evicted by
militant mobs, regardless of the fact that their properties have not been
listed for government acquisition at all, or if they have, the deadlines for
vacating their homes have not arrived. Some are being given a day to get out
of their homes, others as little as five hours. In other cases farmers are
simply sitting in their homes and just waiting to be arrested. I feel so
sickeningly helpless as I talk and write to friends, advising them to make
sure they have got a warm jacket, toothpaste and toilet paper with them in
case they are suddenly arrested. There are increasing reports of the farm
workers, evicted along with their employers, simply camping on the sides of
roads with nowhere to go. The disgusting irony of this eviction and arrest
of our farmers and their workers is the growing evidence of entire villages
literally starving now. I have had reports this week from villagers around
Nyanga whose children are showing the classic signs of malnutrition - their
bellies distended and their hair taking on an orange hue.
Listening to a BBC reporter speaking to a Zimbabwean farmer this week I was
shocked at the crass insensitivity and downright hostility of the
questioning. After hearing that the farmer is being ordered off his land,
out of his house and having his business and life's work seized, the
reporter said to him: "So, why don't you go then?" The farmer replied that
he was born here, that he is a Zimbabwean and that he is growing food for a
country where 6.8 million people are starving. The reporter did not let it
go, "But why don't you just go? Mozambique, Botswana, they'll have you, why
don't you just leave?" I've been asked this same question hundreds of times
in the last three years and my answer is the same as the farmer speaking to
the BBC: I was born and educated here, so was my son, this is our home, our
country, we are Zimbabweans, we may have white skins but we are Africans and
we belong here. We love our country, we believe in democracy and human
rights and we are patriotic enough to demand our right to be able to live
and work in the country of our birth.  Both the black and white people in
Zimbabwe are so patriotic that they have endured torture, rape, murder and
arrest in their fight for democracy. I often wonder if some crazed bunch of
skin heads suddenly bombarded their way into power in England or America
what the citizens of those countries would do - I cannot believe that they
they would just pack their bags and go to another country where they
perceive the grass to be greener. I cannot believe that they would just let
a bunch of crazed militants take over their homes and possessions. Neither
can I understand why our neighbours in African countries think that the
horrors of Zimbabwe cannot happen in their countries. It has taken less than
3 years for Zimbabwe to go from being a food exporter to a beggar. This can
happen in any country where politicians refuse to leave power; it can happen
in any country where ordinary men and women turn a blind eye to corruption
and nepotism, where they do not get involved in their governance and do not
speak out at injustices. As I have for the last 12 months, I wear a small
yellow ribbon pinned to my shirt in support of people suffering in Zimbabwe.
This week my ribbon is for farmers sitting in stinking cells, for their
workers camped out on the roadsides and for starving villagers unable to get
food aid because they support the opposition MDC. God help us. Until next
week, with love, cathy.
Back to the Top
Back to Index

Mail and Guardian

Zimbabwe farmers arrested, beaten


Zimbabwean police have detained 53 white farmers, while holding at least 18
others out of custody, as the government extends its crackdown on whites who
refuse to vacate their farms, a farming lobby said on Saturday.

Among them is Tony Smith, who was attacked early on Saturday by police and
pro-government militants, Justice for Agriculture (JAG) representative Jenni
Williams said.

"Very early this morning, police in the company of war veterans approached a
farm in Mhangura, 100 kilometres northwest of Harare, and assaulted an
employee there, compelling him to take to the home of Tony Smith, who no
longer lives on his farm," Williams said.

"They then arrived at the Chisipite residence of Mr. Smith (in Harare), and
proceeded to handcuff him. Reports indicate that he was severely assaulted
and has possibly sustained a broken leg and head injuries," she said.

Smith was being held at a police station outside Harare, and JAG was trying
to send him legal and medical aid, Williams said.

Police were not immediately reachable for comment, but the state-run Herald
newspaper reported on Saturday that 19 farmers had been arrested.

The government on Thursday accused white farmers of stage-managing their
evictions as part of a wider anti-Zimbabwe

Supporters of President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union - Patriotic front (Zanu-PF) party and war veterans began occupying
white farms in 2000, sparking an international outcry and prompting EU
travel restrictions on senior Zanu-PF officials as part of targeted

The land reforms come as more than six-million Zimbabweans are facing
increasing food shortages, caused by drought and the dramatic decrease in
commercially grown food on commercial farms, which are mainly white-owned. -

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Zimbabwe farmer attacked as government enforces eviction order
Associated Press
Published Aug 18, 2002

HARARE, ZIMBABWE -- A white farmer who obeyed the government's order to abandon his land was tracked down by police and ruling party militants Saturday, handcuffed and beaten, a farmers' group said.

Andrew Smith suffered head injuries and a broken leg in the attack at his home in Harare, said Jenni Williams, a spokeswoman for the group Justice for Agriculture. After the attack, Smith was taken into police custody and detained near what was his farm, 20 miles northwest of Harare.

"We are attempting to secure his release from custody and into hospital," Williams said.

It was not known why Smith, who left his farm about a month ago, was targeted. Police and militants who went to the farm looking for Smith instead found the caretaker and beat him up.

The attackers then drove to Harare, allegedly beat up Smith and took him back to a holding facility near his farm.

Police spokesman Andrew Phiri said he had received no information about the attack.

Ruling party militants have attacked at least 12 farmers since the deadline for them to vacate their land expired Aug. 8. The government ordered about 2,900 whites to leave their farms, saying the land was to be redistributed to blacks, but several hundred farmers resisted the evictions.

Seventy-seven white farmers have been arrested over the past few days for flouting the eviction order, police said Saturday. At least six were freed on bail Friday, Phiri said.

Farmers convicted of flouting the eviction orders face up to two years in prison and a fine.

The government has targeted 95 percent of properties owned by 4,000 white farmers for confiscation under its land reform program, saying the measure is necessary to correct the legacy of inequitable land ownership left by the colonial era.

However, critics say the program is a bid by the increasingly unpopular government to cling to power amid more than two years of economic chaos and political violence.

Half of Zimbabwe's 12.5 million people face severe food shortages, a problem that aid agencies blame on drought and the farm seizures.

Back to the Top
Back to Index

Resettled Farmers in Demo Against Free Bail for Suspects

BUSINESS ground to a halt in Chipinge yesterday when hundreds of resettled farmers and war veterans demonstrated at the magistrate's court against the granting of free bail to three suspects who allegedly burnt District Development Fund tractors last month.

The resettled farmers demanded the immediate removal of Chipinge provincial magistrate, Mr Chikwana, who they said was biased against Zanu-PF members.

They also accused the magistrate of delaying the prosecution of offenders who supported the MDC while "fast tracking" cases involving ruling party supporters or war veterans.

They noted their concerns in a petition to Zanu-PF provincial chairman Cde Mike Madiro, provincial governor, Cde Oppah Muchinguri, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, the police and the Central Intelligence Organisation.

Zanu-PF district co-ordination committee chairman Cde Timothy Mapungwana said settlers in the district had been incensed by the release on free bail of the three youths who allegedly burnt the DDF tractors.

Following the protests, the three suspects were eventually brought back into remand.

However, the farmers said the burning of the tractors would derail land preparations for the coming agricultural season.

The angry farmers are also reported to have forced Mr Dirk du Plooy, the owner of a service station that is alleged to have been used as a communication centre for the MDC, to close down his business and leave the town within 48 hours. They called for the immediate designation of Mr du Plooy's farm.

The angry mob warned Mr du Plooy of unspecified action if he did not comply with the order.

Meanwhile, police in Chipinge were making frantic efforts to bring before the courts on Monday next week, farmers who defied Government orders to vacate their farms after the expiry of the 90-day grace period granted under section 8 of the Land Acquisition Amendment Act.

Some of the farmers were said to have gone to stay with their colleagues whose farms had not been designated, leaving their movable property on the farms.

A total of 13 farmers in Chipinge have been served with the section 8 notices compelling them to leave the farms.

Mugabe's axe finally falls on loyal farmers

August 16 2002 at 08:52PM
Saturday Star

By Basildon Peta

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's government on Friday began acting against defiant white farmers refusing to leave their farms. Fifty farmers were charged, another 11 were arrested and a further five appeared in court, in Matabeleland province for defying the August 10 deadline which the government gave them to vacate their farms to make way for black settlers.

And farm leaders say police bosses have instructed all police stations to arrest the remainder of some 1 800 farmers who have been defying the deadline.

The Commercial Farmers' Union regional chairman for Matabeleland, Mac Crawford, said he and 50 other farmers had been charged with violating Mugabe's order and would appear in court soon. Eleven other farmers were arrested on Friday and five more were charged in the Gwanda court.

Justice for Agriculture (Jag), a new lobby group of white farmers advocating court challenges to Mugabe's land seizures, said top police officers had instructed all police stations to arrest farmers remaining on their farms.

"The situation is getting more tense. Signals have been sent for police to arrest and charge farmers in court. Those being arrested are loyal Zimbabweans and single-farm owners," said Jag spokesperson Jenni Williams.

Her reference to single-farm owners was a refutation of Mugabe's statement on Monday that he was only confiscating land from farmers who owned more than one farm. Among the 11 farmers arrested on Friday were Max Rosenfels, 77, and ailing Robin Greaves, 74. - Independent Foreign Service


Dysfunctional Zimbabwe worries Commonwealth

SUVA, Aug. 17 - The eleven Pacific members of the Commonwealth warned on
Saturday of stronger action against Zimbabwe but stopped short of
threatening to expel the deeply troubled southern African nation.
       Commonealth countries at the annual Pacific Islands Forum discussed
the crisis in Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe's government has
ordered thousands of white commercial farmers to vacate their land so it can
be given to landless blacks.
       The Pacific Commonwealth leaders expressed ''deep concern'' over
Zimbabwe and noted with regret that Mugabe has so far spurned international
attempts to promote reconciliation and the rule of law.
       ''Pacific Commonwealth leaders...recommended further action by the
Commonwealth should there be no rapid change of approach by the Zimbabwe
government,'' the leaders said in statement read by Fiji Prime Minister
Laisenia Qarase.
       The leaders called for an immediate end to political violence in
Zimbabwe and for an end to the forced eviction of farmers.
       At a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Australia in March,
members decided only to suspend Zimbabwe from councils of the Commonwealth,
which meant Zimbabwe was able to compete at the Commonwealth Games in
Britain last month.
       A tri-nation panel of the leaders of Australia, South Africa and
Nigeria was set up to decide on what other action to take against Zimbabwe.
       The Pacific leaders backed ongoing efforts of that ''troika'' to
encourage dialogue with Zimbabwe, efforts which have so far been ignored.
       Australian Prime Minister John Howard would not be drawn on what
action might be taken and refused to speculate whether the troika might
recommend Zimbabwe be suspended completely or expelled.
       ''I'm not offering a view on that, self-evidently Zimbabwe has not
responded,'' Howard told a news conference.
       The land crisis coincides with a drought causing food shortages in
much of southern Africa. An estimated six million Zimbabweans, nearly half
the population, are short of food because of disruption on the farms and
       ''The drought is more serious in Zimbabwe because there is a
dysfunctional government,'' said Clark, who this week described the
evictions as ''lunacy.''
       The Pacific leaders said it was important the Commonwealth was seen
to be acting the same way over Zimbabwe as Fiji, which it suspended and
imposed limited trade sanctions on after a coup in May 2000.
       Fiji has since been readmitted after returning to democracy with
general elections last year.
       Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon is hosting a Pacific
democracy roundtable in Fiji from Monday.

Aid agencies fear catastrophe in Zimbabwe - Scotland on Sunday - Article Index 01:11
Aid agencies fear catastrophe in Zimbabwe


THE foreign aid agencies have yet to reach Chadereka, a sleepy village deep in the Zambezi valley, so the pangs of hunger are starting to bite hard. As throughout Zimbabwe, maize meal is the staple food, but this year neither God nor President Robert Mugabe have provided.

"We should be eating twice, maybe three times a day," said Dzidzai Musinyare, a 22-year-old mother of four . "Now it is barely once."

Last week Musinyare went to the government grain store, 60 kilometres away, in search of food. She had no choice: private trading of maize is forbidden in Zimbabwe. But when she reached Muzarabani, there was nothing. So she waited - one day, then two, then three.

"Five days, for just one bag of maize," she said with disgust. The return bus fare cost more than the bag of precious grain.

Across the country, the same story is repeated - a chronic shortage of maize, exacerbated by stubbornly destructive government policies, is pushing a once-plentiful country towards famine. As Mugabe runs out of money and ideas, his people are slowly starting to starve.

According to aid agencies, more than half of Zimbabwe’s 12.5 million people are going to need urgent food assistance in the coming months. The UN is appealing for $285m to stave off what it calls the "largest food crisis in 50 years".

Mugabe is not entirely to blame. A sharp drought at the beginning of this year decimated the maize crop, particularly on the thin soil of communal areas, where most black farmers live. And as food stocks run low, Zimbabweans’ ability to cope has been severely hampered by the scourge of HIV/Aids - an estimated one in three adults is infected with HIV and there are more than 600,000 orphans.

Nevertheless, Mugabe, who ordered a police sweep of defiant white farmers on Friday, arresting more than 80 for their refusal to move off their land, bears enormous responsibility for his people’s suffering. Aid workers say this should be a manageable crisis, but it risks becoming a full-blown disaster.

The seizure of white-owned commercial farms has thrown the agriculture sector into disarray at the moment when it is most needed. Commercial farmers accounted for almost half of national maize requirements. Combined with the effects of drought, maize production has collapsed by 70%.

Some black settlers on white farms have grown maize this year but their crops have been meagre. Many are poor and inexperienced commercial farmers. Without government help with fertiliser, seeds and know-how, their crops often fail .

Perhaps the most important impact of the land grab has been on Mugabe’s ability to import replacement maize. The lucrative tobacco crop, a key foreign currency earner, has been badly hit. Now as the government struggles to import food from abroad, it is discovering that there is precious little hard cash with which to buy it.

Equally troubling is that the current uncertainty means there is no guarantee that planting will go ahead as normal at the end of the dry season, hitting next year’s crop.

Aid agencies are scrambling to help. A famine is not inevitable, they say, but the early signs are already showing.

In thousands of villages like Chadereka, school absentee rates have soared as parents send their children to search for wild berries and fruits.

Theft is on the rise in previously placid rural areas. Prostitution is also growing: young women are flocking to the southern border town of Beitbridge to make money for food from passing truckers.

Some international aid is on the way. The WFP says it has enough food to last until Christmas, maybe longer. The British government, the butt of Mugabe’s frequent rants, is spending £32m this year. However, it won’t be enough.

The bulk of Zimbabwe’s food will have to come through the government or private imports. Neither source looks reliable.

Peasants like Dzidzai Musinyare have to buy their food from the Grain Marketing Board, a government agency with depots around the country that has a monopoly on grain sales. But because Mugabe has no foreign currency, its shelves are usually empty.

The other option is to liberalise the grain market and allow traders to bring in food from abroad. But the currently fixed prices would undoubtedly rise sharply, perhaps tenfold. Foreign donors are desperately trying to persuade Mugabe that this is the only way forward. So far, he has refused to listen.

Instead, government employees have been accused of playing dirty politics with food aid. The deputy minister of foreign affairs Abednico Ncube was reported as telling villagers that food "will be available only to those who dump the opposition and work with Zanu-PF".

One diplomat said: "Things are getting worse and worse, yet it appears he [Mugabe] is more interested in power politics than helping his own people."

Mugabe fails to heed pleas of starving

Declan Walsh reports from the Zambezi Valley, where land redistribution has
fatally deepened a drought-led food crisis

Sunday August 18, 2002
The Observer

A straggly queue trailed around the fence of the government grain store in
Muzarabani, a village on the floor of the Zambezi Valley in northern
Zimbabwe. An old man shook his head in disgust. The shelves were empty -
'This is crazy. We've been waiting here for five days,' said 68-year-old
Sinet Muzanenhamo, slumped under the shade of a tree. A truck had come to
the store, known as Grain Marketing Board (GMB), three days earlier, he
explained. But it carried just 100 bags of maize for more than 1,000 waiting
people. He got nothing.

'By now, we are eating only once a day,' he said, fingering a piece of worn
cardboard that showed that he was 10th in line. 'We fear that soon it will
be nothing at all.'

All across Zimbabwe, the story is the same - a chronic shortage of maize,
exacerbated by stubbornly destructive government policies, is pushing a once
plentiful country to the verge of famine.

The full folly of President Robert Mugabe's land redistribution programme is
being laid bare. Yesterday farm groups said that 80 white farmers had been
arrested and some charged for defying government orders to vacate land
targeted for redistribution to landless blacks. Of the remaining 4,500 white
farmers, 2,900 have been told to quit their land without compensation.
Nearly two-thirds are refusing to go.

According to the United Nations, more than half of Zimbabwe's 12.5 million
people are going to need urgent food assistance in the coming months.

Famine is not inevitable - yet. Aid food is starting to arrive, and
malnutrition rates remain relatively low - around 5 per cent in some areas.
But it is a fragile stability, aid workers warn.

'People's capacity to cope is almost exhausted,' said Chris McIvor of Save
the Children-UK. 'Once that goes, there can be a very rapid decline. We
could be looking at a catastrophic situation by December.'

Across the country, the early signs of starvation are starting to show. In
classrooms, children are fainting or dropping out of school entirely to
search for wild food. Some have died after eating poisonous roots. To the
south, young women are flocking to the border town of Beit Bridge, to
prostitute themselves to the passing truckers. There is competition from
wild animals. Near Chadereka, two men lie in hospital, one of them close to
death. He was attacked by an elephant while picking berries off wild trees;
a buffalo gored his neighbour.

Foreign aid has not yet reached Chadereka, a sleepy village further inside
the Zambezi Valley, near the border with Mozambique. With maize hardly
available, villagers have turned to masawu - berries normally used for
making moonshine - to fill their stomachs.

'But this type of food, it doesn't stay,' complained Dzidzai Musinyari, a
22-year-old woman who was seven months pregnant. 'You eat it, go to the
toilet and then it is all gone.' Her five-year-old son was starting to
suffer from diarrhoea.

The valley people used to farm cotton, then use their earnings to buy maize
grown in the fertile highlands. Not any more.

The crisis cannot be blamed entirely on Mugabe. It was sparked by a sharp
drought at the beginning of this year, wrecking the maize harvest.

The scourge of HIV/Aids made things worse: one in three Zimbabwean adults is
infected with HIV, and there are more than 600,000 Aids orphans.
Grandparents find themselves struggling to feed the children of their dead
sons and daughters.

But if bad weather sparked the crisis, Mugabe's ruinous policies have made
it infinitely worse. He has closed down food-producing white farms. He has
beggared the economy, cutting off access to foreign currency needed to
import food. He has maintained a steely grip on the monopoly of maize
imports, though private trade is vital to fend off disaster.

Zimbabwe used to be self-sufficient in maize, with commercial farms meeting
almost half of the requirements. But this year, drought and farmer
intimidation have caused production to plummet by 70 per cent.

More significantly, the tobacco industry, which brought in much of the
country's foreign currency, has also collapsed. As the government struggles
to import food from abroad, it is discovering that there is precious little
hard cash with which to buy it.

Under current plans, a famine can be averted if the government, aid agencies
and private traders each import one third of the maize deficit. The aid
agencies should keep their part of the bargain, at least until Christmas.

But the government is broke, so scepticism abounds that Mugabe will be able
to import 500,000 tonnes of maize in the coming months, as promised. He is
refus ing to allow private traders to bring in food from abroad, because
prices would inevitably rise, perhaps as much as tenfold.

Foreign donors are desperately trying to persuade Mugabe that this is the
only way forward. Those with money, mostly in urban areas, could become
self-sufficient, leaving the aid agencies and government to concentrate on
the most vulnerable people in rural areas. But this would also highlight to
Mugabe's supporters how poor his policies have been, so he has refused to

Instead, his cronies have been accused of playing dirty politics with food
aid. In June, war veterans shut down a Catholic Church project to feed
40,000 people in the western Binga province. They claimed that the project,
which is funded by the British agency Cafod, was being run by supporters of
the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

More recently, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abednico Ncube, was
quoted in a local newspaper as telling villagers that food 'will be
available only to those who dump the opposition and work with Zanu-PF'.

Some 13m people in southern Africa, across Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi,
Swaziland and Lesotho, are threatened with famine in the coming months.
Zimbabwe should be anchoring the region; instead it is pulling it down.

While the suffering is most extreme in Malawi, the sheer scale of numbers
makes Zimbabwe the most vulnerable country. But Mugabe has acted with an
arrogant cool towards international aid. He recently warned parliament of
the need to 'remain wary of countries and organisations which seek to take
advantage of our hour of need'. There were 'sinister interests', he claimed,
that wanted to use the 'cover of humanitarian involvement'.

The irony is that foreign money is the only thing keeping his country from
slipping into starvation. Britain, which is frequently derided as the great
colonial evil, is putting £32m into Zimbabwe this year. The European Union
has pledged ?35m (£22m).

One frustrated diplomat said: 'Things are getting worse and worse, yet it
appears he is more interested in power politics than helping his own

Speaking at Heroes' Acre, the national shrine for black liberation fighters,
Mugabe vowed last week to ensure that 'no Zimbabwean starves to death'.

It is increasingly clear that the ageing autocrat is running out of both
money and ideas. But if he does not find a way of getting food into
Zimbabwe, fast, a preventable disaster may soon become an inevitable famine.


80 farmers arrested as Mugabe 'cleans up'

      August 17 2002 at 07:07PM

By John Matisonn

Zimbabwean police and war veterans on Saturday stepped up the
long-threatened nationwide crackdown on farmers, increasing the number in
prison to 80, including two women and one black farm manager.

Farmers were divided over whether there was a clear pattern in the swoop,
which included those who have eviction notices and those who don't, and
farmers who have only one farm, which President Robert Mugabe said earlier
this week was allowed.

In raids that began before dawn, farmers including leaders of Justice for
Agriculture (Jag) solidarity group and supporters of the opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) were among the targets.

      'It's a political cleansing'
The chairman of Jag, David Connolly, was visited and questioned at 5am on
Saturday even though he does not have an eviction notice. He was not

Jag alleged that Tony Smith, who left his farm a month ago, was severely
beaten by police and war veterans at his Harare home. Jag alleges he was
handcuffed and severely beaten, and that he has a broken leg and head

Among the 80 in custody from earlier arrests is David Olds, whose brother
Martin and mother Gloria were murdered in separate incidents.

No arrests have been made in those cases.

This week, some of the new black farmers attended the annual congress of the
Zimbabwe Farmers' Union, which represents 100 000 peasant and small scale

A Jag spokesperson said farmers from all affiliations were being targeted.

But the opposition justice spokesperson, MDC MP David Coltart, said Mugabe
was seeking to crush anyone associated with the MDC or Jag, which has no
political affiliation but believes in using the legal system and the
constitution to fight evictions.

"There are now good whites and bad whites," Coltart said. "Farm owners who
support Zanu-PF have been left alone, but small farmers, who run a
foundation to educate farm workers about Aids, get targeted. It's a
political cleansing."


Mugabe's men storm farms as arrests begin
By Jane Flanagan in Johannesburg
(Filed: 19/08/2002)

Up to 100 white farmers, including an elderly woman, were arrested yesterday
in Zimbabwe for defying a government eviction order as President Robert
Mugabe's controversial land reform programme threatened to reach a violent

Hundreds of police and war veterans stormed white-owned farms around the
country and arrested those accused of defying government orders to quit
their land.

"We had the names of 84 farmers who had been arrested by midday with reports
of further arrests coming in all the time," said Jenni Williams, spokesman
for the farmers' pressure group, Justice for Agriculture (JAG) . "At this
rate we will have easily reached 100 by this evening."

The crackdown is the culmination of a two-and-a-half-year campaign which
began in February 2000 with the forced occupation of white-owned farms by
so-called "war veterans" sparking an international outcry.

The arrests came eight days after the expiry of a deadline for 2,900 white
farmers to quit their land. They were also ordered to remove all their
belongings and to sack their labour force.

About half of those who received eviction orders ignored them in the hope
that Mugabe would not make good his threats.

Mugabe vowed last week that he had no intention of abandoning his policy of
evicting white farmers despite predictions that half the country's
population of 12 million was on the verge of starvation.

"There are those who believe that the land reform programme can be reversed
. . . this is not reversible," Mugabe told an annual gathering of the
mostly-black Zimbabwe Farmers Union. "This is not [Tony] Blair's land, this
is Mugabe's land," he said.

Last night relatives were still trying to track down an elderly woman who
was carried off in a police van. Flo McKay had been looking after her son's
farm in Wedza, 100 miles south-east of Harare, while he was on holiday.

"When police discovered he was away, they took the old lady instead," a
neighbour said.

One farmer, who had moved off his land, was beaten unconscious and sustained
a broken leg after pro-Mugabe activists tortured a member of his staff into
revealing his employer's new address.

Seven farmers appeared in court on Friday. A further 77 have been arrested
for failing to comply with eviction orders, Ms Williams said.

Of those arrested, 20 were later released and ordered to appear in court in
the next few days, while 57 remained in custody.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena said he could not comment on the latest
arrests or say how many farmers were behind bars pending charges on new
legislation which carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail and a fine.

But those already in police custody - including 75-year-old Robin Grieves,
who is blind - are expected to spend the weekend in jail before being
brought before the courts.

Sue Fould, the British-born wife of rose farmer Ian Fould, who is being
detained by police, said: "They are not only arresting those who stayed on
their farms but also those who left property on their farms."

Ms Williams yesterday said she was "not surprised" at the mass arrests. "Our
eyes have been wide open for a long time now and we always believed that
Mugabe was not prepared to negotiate over this or implement his land reform
plans legally or without violence."

The Foreign Office confirmed yesterday that four Britons had been refused
entry into Zimbabwe in the past two weeks in apparent retaliation for
European Union sanctions preventing the travel of Zimbabwean cabinet
ministers and Mugabe's supporters in Europe.


Zimbabwe: 141 white farmers arrested
August 18, 2002 Posted: 1:37 PM EDT (1737 GMT)

HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Zimbabwean police have arrested 141 white
farmers over the last three days for defying government orders to leave
their land for redistribution to landless blacks, farming groups said on

President Robert Mugabe's government has ordered 2,900 farmers of the
country's remaining 4,500 white commercial farmers to quit their land
without compensation, but nearly two thirds have defied an August 8

The disruption to agriculture in Zimbabwe, once the bread-basket of southern
Africa, comes as millions in the region face food shortages.

Farmers' lobby group Justice for Agriculture (JAG) said on Sunday latest
figures showed 141 farmers had been arrested since Thursday for defying
eviction orders.

"Thirty-five have been in court and are out on bail. Ninety-six are still
technically under arrest and due to appear in court," Jag said, adding 10
more farmers had been released after signing statements saying they had been

In a separate statement, the main Commercial Farmers Union, grouping 4,500
mainly white producers, said police arrested 107 farmers on Saturday alone
for continuing farming operations.

"In all cases farmers have been informed that they are to remove all
personal property from their farms - while some have been given time to do
so but no ongoing attention to crops and livestock is to be permitted," CFU

"More than $3.72 billion Zimbabwe dollars ($67.6 million) worth of ongoing
crop and livestock production is at risk," the union added.

Mugabe, who has been in power since the country gained independence from
Britain in 1980, says his land drive is aimed at correcting colonial
injustice which left 70 percent of the best farmland in the hands of white

JAG says most of the targeted farmers have only one farm each and nowhere
else to stay, nor any other source of income outside agriculture.

Aid agencies say nearly six million Zimbabweans -- half the national
population -- need food aid this year, part of a wider food crisis
threatening nearly 13 million people in six southern African countries.

Zimbabwe now needs food aid after drought and the farm invasions slashed
output of the staple maize crop.

Mugabe's government blames the shortage of maize solely on the drought that
has hit small-scale black farmers who produce 70 percent of national output.

Zimbabwe has been in crisis since pro-government militants led by veterans
of the 1970s liberation war began invading white-owned farms in early 2000
in support of the government seizures.

ABC News Australia

Posted: Mon, 19 Aug 2002 6:32 AEST

Call for international intervention to help Zimbabwe farmers
The son of a Zimbabwean farmer who has been arrested for refusing to leave
his farm says international intervention is needed to prevent the situation

More than 130 farmers have been detained over the past few days for refusing
to comply with a Government deadline for white farmers to give up the land.

Robert Carey left Zimbabwe seven months ago to avoid the hostilities and now
lives in north Queensland but his father chose to stay and was one of those
arrested on the weekend.

Mr Carey says he fears the worst is yet to come.

"I think what's going on is pathetic, we're all just standing watching," Mr
Carey said.

"I think probably the only way will be military intervention.

"I don't know if anyone's prepared to do that but it's probably going to be
the only way," he said.

Christian science monitor
Zimbabwe's political tool: food

Since Friday, 133 white farmers have been arrested. Opposition says Mugabe
is exploiting food crisis.

By Nicole Itano | Special to The Christian Science Monitor

HARARE, ZIMBABWE - Even with foreign aid pouring into the country, observers
say that Zimbabwe will not have enough food for its people over the coming
year. In this looming crisis, the government sees an opportunity - to gain
political leverage by withholding food from political opponents, says Sam
Mlilo, an organizer for the opposition party here.
Mr. Mlilo says that members of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
party come to him looking for food, as drought and President Robert Mugabe's
controversial land redistribution program have edged Zimbabwe closer to
famine. But Mlilo has to turn his fellow supporters away.

"I have no resources, no food for you," he tells them, "and the next day, I
hear that they have surrendered their party cards because they have been
starving." Mlilo, a former university professor who lives in Mberengwa East,
an area wracked by violence during the country's March presidential
elections, adds: "It's really working. [The government's] plan is going to

That plan, according to opposition leaders such as Mlilo and aid groups, is
to starve the opposition into submission, forcing their allegiance to Mr.
Mugabe's regime.

Earlier in the year, some 50 MDC supporters were beaten and shot, allegedly
by Mugabe supporters in the run up to the March elections. But as rural
villagers are reduced scavenging for roots and berries, or selling their
remaining assets to buy high-priced food on the black market, the MDC and
local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) say food is the government's
latest weapon.

The government denies this charge. Speaking to the nation last week during
Zimbabwe's independence day celebrations, Mugabe promised that the
government would feed everyone, even the "stooges and puppets," one of his
favorite term for opposition supporters he claims are working for Britain,
the country's former colonial master.

In two short years, Zimbabwe has gone from a food supplier to becoming one
of the largest humanitarian emergencies on the continent. Mugabe's plan to
give white-owned farms to landless blacks has crippled the country's
commercial-farming sector. Yesterday, more than 133 white farmers were
arrested for defying orders to vacate their land.

Over the next nine months, the country faces a 1.5-million-ton
food-production shortfall and the specter of six million starving if it
doesn't receive sufficient aid, according to the United Nations' World Food
Program (WFP). Even with aid, Zimbabwe is likely to face a half-million ton
shortfall. But despite pleas from the UN to allow the private importation of
food to help fill the projected gap, the government has maintained a steely
grip on the market. Late last year, private wheat and corn imports were
banned, and the government-run grain marketing board, which is managed by
top military and intelligence officials, was given control.

Known MDC supporters are being turned away from grain depots, while party
big men are buying up grain and selling it on the black market at a profit,
say some observers. NGOs also report that MDC supporters are being
discriminated against in government-run food-for-work programs.

The Food Security Network, a coalition of 54 local NGOs that has been
monitoring the situation in Zimbabwe, says politicization of food aid has
been reported in at least 33 of the country's 54 districts. They say many of
the depots are being run by youth militia from Mugabe's ZANU-PF party or by
intelligence officers, and that more food is being sent to ZANU strongholds
than to MDC areas.

"We went to one depot that was being run by youth militia," says the
director of one prominent NGO, who asked not to be named out of fear of
retaliation from the government. "That in itself is outrageous. These are
the same people who were beating and torturing people in the first four
months of the year," referring to alleged violence around the March
election, which most observers say was rigged in favor of Mugabe. The
government has threatened to ban NGOs critical of the state and to seize the
passports of their workers.

The WFP says that food is being distributed to all, not just to those in a
particular party. But local NGOs and the MDC say that monitoring has been
poor. They accuse aid agencies of looking the other way to avoid
confrontation with the government, allowing it to influence who receives
donated food.

"The lists of beneficiaries are all being drawn up by rural committees,
which are relying on chiefs and headmen who are all in the pay of the
government," says Eddie Cross, spokesman for the MDC on economic affairs.
"On principle [the WFP and aid groups] will not act in a political manner,
but they're allowing themselves to be manipulated."

The WFP and donors deny such allegations and say that they have thoroughly
investigated all charges of political bias in the food-distribution process
and found them untrue. The biggest problem, they say, is just that there's
not enough food aid for everyone.

Since the ranks of the needy are so vast, it is nearly impossible to prove
whether someone was left off a list because of political affiliation. Still,
several cases of direct interference by ruling-party militants have been

In the town of Binga, near Lake Kariba, war veterans stopped food
distribution by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace for almost two
months, saying that the commission was a political organization that was
using the food to foment antigovernment sentiment. In another district, a
local NGO says its workers were beaten by war veterans who claimed that bags
of cornmeal were being distributed with pro-opposition material inside.

The biggest challenge for the donors may be the next phase of the crisis -
the recovery phase. Feeding the hungry is usually followed by long-term
efforts to improve food security, but according to the WFP, donors will
likely be hesitant to subsidize new farmers placed on land taken from white
commercial farmers.

Christian Science Monitor

Zero Reform in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe once fed much of southern Africa. Now it can't feed its own people.
A long drought is partly to blame, but most of the responsibility rests with
President Robert Mugabe.
Mr. Mugabe, a hero of his country's struggle to end white minority rule, has
decided for the past two years to refight that battle in Zimbabwe's fertile,
and once very productive, countryside.

His campaign to forcibly remove white farmers and redistribute their land to
blacks has populist appeal. British settlers at the end of the 19th century
seized the best land, and whites still farm half that land. It's an
injustice overdue for adjustment.

But Mugabe's way of addressing it is bringing chaos, not justice. Police are
now starting to round up hundreds of farmers who ignored the government's
Aug. 8 deadline to leave.

The time is ripe for international and regional pressures to be concentrated
on Mugabe, to keep him from deepening the crisis. Zimbabwe's neighbors,
particularly South Africa, need to break out of their silent tolerance of
Mugabe's authoritarian ways and push for a negotiated settlement of the land
issue. Plans to compensate farmers must be worked out.

A quieting of the situation might partially revive Zimbabwe's agricultural
sector - something that would benefit the country's people much more than
Mugabe's botched, politically motivated "land reform."

NZ Herald

Clark rallies action against Zimbabwe


New Zealand is leading renewed calls for the Commonwealth to take stronger
and swifter action against Zimbabwe as it deteriorates into further crisis.

Prime Minister Helen Clark initiated a move at the Pacific Islands Forum for
11 Commonwealth members - comprising 20 per cent of the Commonwealth member
states - to call for a rapid reassessment.

In the process, New Zealand and Fiji are on a fast-track to friendship after
buddying up at the Fiji forum on the matter.

Fiji argued that double standards must not apply: the same rules should
apply to Zimbabwe as they did to Fiji when it faced Commonwealth action
after the 2000 coup.

In reality, the move is intended to put pressure on Commonwealth leaders,
particularly South African President Thabo Mbeki and Nigerian President
Olusegun Obasanjo, who must make recommendations on action such as full

Australian Prime Minister John Howard is also part of the troika. The forum
stand is likely to strengthen his arm to convince the African leaders to
look beyond suspension from the councils of the Commonwealth.

The 11-country grouping issued a statement "recommending further action by
the Commonwealth should there be no rapid change of approach by the Zimbabwe

Helen Clark, the first New Zealand Prime Minister to visit Fiji in 16 years,
heaped praise on Fiji for the way it had co-operated with the Commonwealth
following the coup to return to constitutional government.

That is what set Zimbabwe apart from the Fiji situation.

"Fiji co-operated with the Commonwealth fully in this process. That hasn't
been the case with Zimbabwe.

"Fiji saw the opportunity to be assisted by the Commonwealth to work back to
a constitutional process," she said.

Fiji Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase had pointed out that if "Fiji is treated
in that way when it departs from the rule of law and the constitution then
it is only fair that the rules be applied evenly".

Two years ago Helen Clark refused to speak to Mr Qarase at the Kiribati
forum when New Zealand had been vociferous in its condemnation of the Fiji

In a long-running land resettlement policy, Mr Mugabe has ordered 2900 of
the remaining 4500 white farmers to leave their lands without compensation
to landless black settlers by August 8. An estimated 60 per cent are
refusing to go.

Six million Zimbabweans are facing food shortages through a drought which is
being exacerbated by the eviction of the farmers.

Helen Clark said Mr Mugabe was refusing to take calls from Commonwealth
Secretary-General Don McKinnon and was refusing to engage with the troika of
leaders dispatched to deal with the situation.

The troika was appointed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in
Coolum near Brisbane in March to recommend action following shonky elections
in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has been suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth - as was
Fiji - meaning it cannot attend meetings. New Zealand now wants its
immediate and full suspension from the Commonwealth but African states may
argue for sanctions before that step.

Helen Clark said the purpose of the statement was to support Mr Howard "and
to say that the situation in Zimbabwe is more intolerable than it was in
March and if there cannot be some engagement by Mr Mugabe ... then the
Commonwealth needs to address the issue again".

"The crisis is coming to a head and this statement is helpful to Mr Howard
and his endeavours."

Mr Howard would not comment on how difficult it might be to convince the two
African leaders to suspend Zimbabwe but he made it plain he also wants
stronger action.

"The rule book was thrown at Fiji. There is no reason other countries should
be treated more sparingly in a situation like this. It is not something we
can let drift indefinitely.

"The situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating by the day."

Of the 16-member forum those that are not Commonwealth members are Palau,
the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Niue and the Cook

The issue was dealt with on the fringes of the Pacific Islands Forum, not on
the formal agenda.

In a speech a week ago, Mr Mugabe did not say what would happen to those
defying the eviction orders but a Government official said they would not be
left alone.

Mr Mugabe, aged 78 and in power since the former Rhodesia gained
independence from Britain in 1980, says his land redistribution drive is
aimed at correcting colonial injustice which left 70 per cent of the
country's best farmland in the hands of 4500 white commercial farmers.

White farmers say they are not opposed to land reforms but the Government's

Most have said they are willing to give up some of it under an organised
programme, which has been offered by organisations including the
Commonwealth but been refused.

From The Sunday Times (UK), 18 August

Hoogstraten "to buy" MiGs for Mugabe

The notorious property magnate Nicholas van Hoogstraten, convicted of manslaughter last month, has been involved in secret negotiations to help the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe buy Russian fighter jets. Leaked documents reveal that in return for underwriting the £250m purchase of 14 MiG-29s, Hoogstraten would receive 1.2m acres (500,000 hectares) of prime ranching property, much of which would be taken from white-owned farms. The Zimbabwean intelligence documents, obtained by The Sunday Times, disclose that Mugabe was told last month by the head of his air force that Hoogstraten was interested in underwriting the loan for the MiGs. At the time Hoogstraten was on trial for killing a former business partner. The document, dated July 5, states: "Mr van Hoogstraten is not unreceptive to the idea of underwriting the loan in exchange for an additional 500,000 hectares of land . . . his current circumstances though are creating difficulties in finalising the arrangements."

Mugabe, who is said to be worried by the superiority of the South African air force and the increased military power of Botswana, has been seeking to upgrade his air force for some years. According to the leaked documents, a Zimbabwean delegation travelled to Russia earlier this year to prepare a technical evaluation of the MiG-29 multi-role combat aircraft. The underwriting deal, outlined in an addendum to the technical evaluation, would make Hoogstraten the biggest landowner in Zimbabwe, where last week the government charged five white farmers and arrested more than 80 others for defying orders to vacate land. Hoogstraten already has a huge landholding of more than 500,000 acres after taking over three estates formerly belonging to Lonrho, the conglomerate built by "Tiny" Rowland, in the 1990s. This weekend Hoogstraten’s lawyer Giovanni di Stefano, who has also represented the assassinated Serbian warlord Arkan, denied "any specific allegations" of arms-dealing However, he added: "His (Hoogstraten’s) investments and sympathies with the Zimbabwe government are well known and while to date he has received no request for assistance, if any such request were received he would adjudicate each request on a purely business proposition."

Hoogstraten, 57, is in Belmarsh prison awaiting sentence for manslaughter after being found guilty of hiring two hitmen who shot and stabbed to death a former business partner, Mohammed Sabir Raja. The jury accepted that he had hired the men to harm Raja but not that he had specifically ordered his murder. The property baron’s ruthless and violent reputation stretched to Zimbabwe where he routinely threatened his farm managers, whom he labelled "white trash". He is said to have fathered five children by three different women there. Hoogstraten’s backing for the Mugabe regime won him friends within the ruling Zanu PF party and his lands have been relatively unaffected by the past two years of lawlessness.