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

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Better off without Mugabe
The Washington Post  Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Credit President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe with transforming his country
from southern Africa's breadbasket into a southern Africa basket case.
Thanks to his mismanagement, corruption and the damage he has inflicted on
the economy, a nation that once fed its regional neighbors cannot now feed
itself. To plunge Zimbabwe even further into international disrepute,
Mugabe, thief of his last election, is now trying to mask his failures by
scapegoating the country's white commercial farmers as the main source of
the country's ills. Even as he, in the name of "land reform," expropriates
private farms and arrests white farmers for defying orders to get off their
land, he is fooling no one but himself. The colonial legacy, which at the
time of independence allowed fewer than 5,000 white farmers to hold 70
percent of Zimbabwe's best farmland, is a wrong that needs to be set right.
But Mugabe, rather than pursuing constructive reforms, is persecuting his
opponents, taking land without compensation and behaving for all the world
to see as a power-mad autocrat.
At the same time, Zimbabwe, nearly bankrupt, suffering a drought and edging
toward famine, comes to the West with a tin cup. Because the disaster in
agricultural policy will afflict neighbors in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique,
Mugabe's problem is falling into the hands of the rest of the world to
solve. His misrule cannot serve as an excuse to ignore the region's growing
humanitarian crisis. But Mugabe's attacks on commercial farms and
businesses, his intimidation of opponents and critics and his demonstrated
contempt for the law merit only international contempt and isolation. He
deserves all the sanctions the world can muster.
Mugabe was once a hero, leading his country's struggle for independence.
Today he stands as a representative of all that is wrong with post-colonial
African leadership: a self-centered, power-hungry dictator who has lost the
support of his people yet clings to the trappings of office through the help
of the mob, the gun and a demagogic political appeal to the worst kind of
human emotions. Zimbabwe would do well to be rid of him.
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Zimbabwe's white farmers quit in `ethnic cleansing'

Aug 21 2002

The Western Mail


WHITE farmers, ordered by Zimbabwe's courts to leave their land by the end of the day, loaded their belongings onto trucks and pulled out by nightfall.

One of their leaders described the sad exit as "ethnic cleansing".

Farm vehicles carrying household goods and furniture headed toward towns to obey orders to stay away from contested farms, the Commercial Farmers Union said.

Nearly 200 white farmers have been arrested since Thursday for defying government eviction orders. Most were freed on bail and told by district courts to pack up and leave or face arrest again, said union officials.

Some were staying with friends or relatives. Others booked into hotels.

Colin Cloete, head of the union representing 4,000 white farmers, was among those arrested who appeared in court on Monday.

Cloete, a moderate who led union attempts to negotiate with the government, was ordered to leave his land in the Selous tobacco and corn district, about 45 miles west of Harare, said district union official Ben Freeth.

Freeth said at least 21 farmers in his district including Cloete were released on bail on Monday on condition they vacated their homesteads.

"It is a desperately sad situation. People are loading up their assets to move out. Many have nowhere to go and are looking for places to stay," he said.

Of 96 white-owned farms in the district, three were still operating yesterday, Freeth said. Most of the displaced farmers owned a single property but were forced off their land despite promises by the government none would be deprived of their only homes or livelihood.

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The madness of Robert Mugabe
As Zimbabwean police continue to arrest farmers, two senior US officials have called for the removal of President Robert Mugabe, whom they accuse of "madness".

In addition to imperilling the lives of Zimbabweans, Mugabe also stole presidential elections earlier this year, destroying his credibility and legitimacy as a democratic leader, the officials told reporters.

"The political status quo is unacceptable," said Walter Kansteiner, the assistant secretary of state for African affairs.

"We do not see President Mugabe as the democratically legitimate leader of the country," he said. "The election was fraudulent and it was not free and it was not fair."

"So we're working with others ... on how we can in fact together encourage the body politic of Zimbabwe to in fact go forward and correct that situation and start providing an environment that would lead to a free and fair election," Kansteiner said.

He said the United States was working with opposition elements within Zimbabwe as well as with the country's neighbours and the European Union to further isolate the Mugabe regime.

Washington is contemplating a toughening of sanctions against Mugabe and his top officials, which now include a travel ban and freezing of assets, to impress upon them their "pariah" status, Kansteiner said.

Meanwhile, police have arrested 215 whites for attempting to defy eviction orders while one farmer at Karoi, 300 kilometres north west of the capital, has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly attempting to drive his vehicle at four policemen.

The incident is the first in which a farmer is accused of violently resisting Mugabe's "fast track land reform", aiming to transfer 5 000 properties to 350 000 black Zimbabweans before the end of August.

A police representative alleged Ian Barker drove at high speed and tried to crash into the vehicle carrying four policemen arriving to arrest him for not quitting his property by the August 9 deadline given 2 900 whites.

He was freed on Tuesday on $40 bail after appearing before a local magistrate on four counts of attempted murder.

Police reported that hundreds of farmers have "gone on the run" - evading details trying to enforce seizure and eviction orders.

A representative, Sergeant Lovemore Sibanda, said: "The farmers we are looking for are those who vacated their farms, leaving behind their wives and children. Others left the doors of their farmhouses locked, with all the property inside, hoping to return later."

In addition to the 2 900 given the August 9 deadline, 2 000 others have orders to quit, regardless of court judgments declaring the notices invalid and unconstitutional.

Mugabe's ministers have appealed to land recipients to move onto their plots immediately and prepare for rains due in November, in order to alleviate the dire food crisis.

His government says 7,8-million people are in danger of starvation before the next harvests can be expected in March-April. Deputy Environment Minister Margaret Sangarwe said the Zimbabwean Government delegation planned to make its stance on the land situation take centre stage at the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

She told the Herald the official delegation would explain the government's position on equitable distribution of resources and empowerment of indigenous people to reduce poverty and starvation. - Sapa-DPA, Sapa-AFP
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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
US blames Mugabe for famine
Wrecked white-owned farm
The most senior United States aid official has launched a blistering attack on the policies of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

These risk turning a drought into a famine affecting half the population - six million people - said Andrew Natsios, head of the United States Agency for International Aid (USAid).

It is madness to arrest commercial farmers in the middle of a drought

Andrew Natsios, head of USAID
Despite this criticism, he announced that USAid has increased food aid to drought-stricken southern Africa by 190,000 tons.

This brings total US food assistance to the region to almost 500,000 tons - half of the total requested by the World Food Programme.

Mr Natsios also said that the row over genetically modified (GM) food aid for Zimbabwe has been solved.

The announcement of the donation follows a warning by the head of the international children's fund, Unicef, that the world was ignoring the food crisis in southern Africa.

At least 13 million people are facing the threat of famine in the region as a result of drought, crop failures and political instability.

The six worst-affected countries are Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Reservoirs full

Zimbabwe's mechanised and irrigated white-owned farms were an "insurance policy" for Zimbabwe and the rest of southern Africa, Mr Natsios said.

Despite the drought, reservoirs on these farms were full of water, which was not being used, he said.

But he blamed several different policies for worsening the food crisis:

  • Evicting white farmers from their land
  • Controlling the price of maize - meaning businesses are not importing maize into Zimbabwe for sale
  • Controlling the exchange rate, which has the same effect

Mr Natsios said that people close to the president were benefiting from the redistribution of land, "so they're not exactly turning these over to poor people".

"It is madness to arrest commercial farmers in the middle of a drought, when they could grow food to save people from starvation," he said.


Criticism of Zimbabwe's policies also came from the US State Department's African affairs chief, Walter Kansteiner.

He said that the United States did not recognize him as the democratically legitimate leader of Zimbabwe and that the US needed to work with Zimbabwe's neighbours to encourage "a more democratic outcome" in the country.

Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique are all concerned that some GM food aid could be planted, contaminating their own crops.

But Mr Natsios said that 17,000 tonnes of US GM maize would be exchanged for a similar amount of Zimbabwean maize.

Zimbabwe would then mill the GM maize at its own expense, to ensure that none of the maize was planted.

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Daily News

Leader Page

      African freedom cannot be defined by the oppressor

      8/20/02 8:57:27 AM (GMT +2)

      "You should feel proud about yourself as an African." This is common
talk among us, especially as it relates to those in African leadership
circles. But I have often wondered whether I should be reminded to be proud
of something that is worth being proud of.

      Let me make myself clear here, lest I may be subjected to all sorts of
verbal attacks, especially from the "rocket scientists", Vimbai Chivaura and
Sheunesu Mupepereki. I am one of the great multitude who are really proud of
being African and do not need any reminder about it.

      I only have a problem with those in leadership who think they are
there to set the standard by which Africanness should be measured. They
believe that anyone who questions any action by an African leader is
unAfrican and unpatriotic.

      Such people are fighting to make us accept the view that democracy is
not common. So African democracy should only be defined by Africans, and not
only Africans, but a few privileged Africans. When African presidents start
killing their own people, pass laws meant to make them rulers forever,
curtail Press freedom and torture opposition parties, the West should keep
quiet because they don't understand democracy in the African context. Any
comment or action by any force outside the concerned African country is
tantamount to interference in the internal affairs of a "sovereign" state
and, therefore, should be condemned. The freedom of the African is,
therefore, supposed to be defined by the oppressor. Anyone who opposes this
school of thought is not proud to be African and does not deserve any
audience or freedom. Such people, according to our own "democratically
elected President, "vakananzviswa tsvigiri nemabhunu" (they have been bought
by the white man's sugar). It's this view that some of us don't want to be
associated with and, therefore, dilutes our Africanness according to Zanu PF
and its allies.

      One surprising aspect with these "proud Africans" is that they accept
aid from any part of the world which at most they use to keep themselves in
the corridors of power until death do them part.

      If their view was to be taken seriously, then aid to their countries
could also be taken as interference in the internal affairs of the concerned
"sovereign" states. Each country is supposed to concentrate on its own
internal affairs and stop casting its eyes into the borders of other states.

      In short, countries that give aid to African states are meddling in
their internal affairs because the people who will be dying of hunger or
disease are their citizens and, therefore, make up part of the state's
internal property.

      In writing this, I have three African presidents in mind who top as
examples of this embarrassing list, namely Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Bakili
Muluzi of Malawi and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. It is the recent actions of
these men that have made them shining examples of African dictatorship.
Mugabe just before and during the presidential election told everyone who
demanded a return to the rule of law and an even playing field to go to
hell. Muluzi, who has of late tasted the sweetness of power, told the West
to mind their own affairs when they did not show support for his bid to
change the constitution of Malawi so as to accommodate his continued stay in

      Museveni has stunned everyone by his bid to pass a law that will only
allow the opposition to hold their meetings once on an annual basis. Because
the West again questioned the legitimacy of such a move, he has told them to
leave Africans alone to deal with their internal affairs.

      These are the people who take away our pride as Africans. May I take
this opportunity to remind these "statesmen" of our continent and their
wayward supporters that true Africans are known by their fight against
autocracy and the promotion of practical democratic values among the
citizens of their countries.

      Proud, true Africans are not those who lick the bottoms of dictators
for some dollars or positions in an autocratic regime. If "true Africans"
means killing, raping, torturing and imprisonment of innocent citizens for
holding opposing views as well as lying and rigging elections, then it is
nothing to be proud of. Most of us will not feel ashamed of whatever the
dictators and their bootlickers will say about us being not proud Africans.

      I am a true African who is not proud of you, "Mr Dictator", and your
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Daily News

      Zimbabwe to spend $22bn on MiG fighter planes as six million face

      8/20/02 9:01:57 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      Zimbabwe is reportedly working on a deal to buy MiG fighter jets at a
staggering $22 billion when an estimated six million people face possible
death from starvation.

      A British newspaper The Sunday Times this week reported that Nicholas
van Hoogstraten, a British tycoon and Zanu PF sympathiser, has been involved
in secret negotiations to help the government buy 14 Russian MiG-29 jets for
US$250 million (about Z$22,4 billion at the official exchange rate).

      Quoting what it said were leaked Zimbabwean intelligence documents
dated 5 July 2002, the paper said van Hoogstraten, 57, would receive 500 000
hectares of prime ranching land in return for underwriting the loan.

      The paper said: "The Zimbabwean intelligence documents, obtained by
The Sunday Times, disclose that (President Robert) 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

      But Mbonisi Gatsheni, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesman, yesterday
dismissed the story.

      He said the country could not afford to buy 14 MiG-29s, which he said
were top-of-the-range interceptors from the 1970s.

      Contacted for comment Gatsheni said: "I have no information on that.
It's just a story that's far-fetched. Let's be serious. Do you think your
country has that kind of money?"

      Van Hoogstraten was convicted of manslaughter last month and is in a
British jail awaiting sentence for manslaughter.

      He was found guilty of hiring two hitmen who shot and stabbed to death
a former business partner, Mohammed Sabir Raja.

      The Sunday Times said: "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."

      The paper said that, 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.

      It said underwriting the deal would make van Hoogstraten, who
reportedly already has a huge landholding spread over three estates in the
Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, the biggest landowner in Zimbabwe.

      The paper said van Hoogstraten's lawyer had denied "any specific
allegations" of arms-dealing.

      But The Sunday Times quotes the lawyer saying: "His 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 as a purely business proposition."

      Hoogstraten's backing for the Mugabe government won him friends within
Zanu PF and his properties have been relatively unaffected by the past two
years of lawlessness, The Sunday Times reported.
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Daily News

      Mandaza denies courting Libyans

      8/20/02 9:00:12 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporter

      LIBYAN nationals are on an investment drive in Zimbabwe and could soon
inject money into the struggling Southern African Printing and Publishing
House (SAPPHO), according to a report by the Zimbabwe Independent weekly.

      The Zimbabwe Independent said it had established that SAPPHO
publisher, Ibbo Mandaza, a ruling Zanu PF party apologist, was trying to
seal a double deal with the Tripoli-based Libyan Arab African Investment

      The company has been searching for investment opportunities in
Zimbabwe for some time.

      But Mandaza yesterday dismissed the reports as false.

      He said: "We are not into any joint ventures with anyone. SAPPHO is
purely an indigenous company and we are not into any business with the
Libyans. There are clear records at the Registrar of Companies for you to

      Besides the Sunday Mirror, SAPPHO also publishes the MidWeek Mirror
and the Weekend Mirror.

      The printing company said the two newspapers will fold once the Daily
Mirror starts publishing on 9 September 2002.

      The Zimbabwe Independent said that according to correspondence between
Mandaza and Libyan Arab Investment Company chairman, Mustafa Tayeb Khattabi,
the Libyans have agreed in principle to invest in a water bottling project
in which Mandaza has an interest.

      Mandaza has also been asked to produce a feasibility study of the
commercial printing and publishing project which was done by a
Stockholm-based company, Graphium Consult AB.

      "This is to inform you that we agreed in principle to invest in the
water bottling project and waiting for decision by the board of directors of
the company.

      "As to the commercial printing press and publishing, it is imperative
to have a detailed feasibility study before we decide to invest in this
project. It would be useful if you send us the study," Khattabi said in a
letter to Mandaza on 22 July. But Mandaza yesterday denied that the Libyans
wanted to invest in Mvura Amanzi, which sells bottled water.

      "The Libyans are not involved at all. They only have shares in the
Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) and this was done through the Zimbabwe Stock

      Mandaza is the chairman of the RTG.

      The printing and publishing project could see the Libyans providing
funding for the procurement of a printing press to publish the Daily Mirror.

      According to a Libyan source who is also seeking investment
opportunities in the country, a proposal sent by Mandaza to Tripoli shows
that the publishing project would see the printing of the Sapem magazine,
the Pan African Autobiography series and the Sapes books.

      The Libyans already have stakes in hotels, banking, farming and the
procurement of fuel for the foreign currency-strapped Zimbabwe.
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Daily News

      CFU president arrested in crackdown

      8/20/02 8:56:41 AM (GMT +2)

      Staff Reporters

      COLIN Cloete, the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) president, was among
the more than 150 farmers arrested by the police after they defied a
government deadline for them to vacate their properties in terms of the
controversial Section 8 of the Land Acquisition Act.

      Cloete was due to appear at the Chegutu Magistrates' Court yesterday
with six other farmers.

      When he came into office Cloete, who farms tobacco, cereal and and is
also a cattle producer in the Selous farming area, pledged to work closely
with the government at the height of the illegal farm occupations.

      "The main objective is to keep farming. But we also have to keep the
doors open with government. We have been isolated in the last few years and
we have a lot of bridges to build," he said in August last year.

      He backed efforts by the Zimbabwe Joint Resettlement Initiative (ZJRI)
to put in place support systems to help new black farmers.

      Under the ZJRI, the CFU offered the government an initial one million
hectares of land to resettle some 20 000 villagers. Their efforts failed to
appease the government as relations remained frosty, culminating in the
forced evictions under the Land Acquisition Act.

      Most of the arrested farmers are from Matabeleland province, including
one granted bail in Gwanda last Friday, only to be re-arrested on Sunday
despite being given a date to appear in court.

      The bail conditions vary from province to province.

      Farmers in Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South paid $5 000 bail

      In another case about $800 million worth of unprocessed tobacco was
abandoned at eight farms in Selous following the forced evictions.

      The farmers said they were in the process of grading their tobacco
when the police arrested them on Saturday. Andrew Ferreira, a spokesman for
the farmers, said they are challenging the compulsory listing of their farms
for designation in the High Court.

      Ferreira of Mandalay Farm was arrested together with Robin Kilburn of
Selous Tobacco Estates, Roy Fuller of Tilmuir Farm, Ken Scott of Imphoefu
Farm, Ian Carlisle of Spencer Farm, Richard Wrette of Paarl Farm, and Roy
Lilford of Wicklow Farm.

      The farmers were granted $5 000 bail each on condition they do not
return to their farms until the matter is finalised. In Mashonaland Central,
the farmers were given the same conditions, but their bail was pegged at $10

      Ferreira said: "We have a situation where about 4 000 people on the
eight farms, including 800 permanent farm workers, have lost their income in
one instant."

      Bin Freeth, the CFU representative in Chegutu, said six white
commercial farmers from Chegutu and one from Norton were being held in
police holding cells, awaiting court appearance.

      He said Derek Scutt, 66, from Mapleleaf Farm in Norton, spent three
nights in police cells following his arrest last Friday.

      In Masvingo, five commercial farmers were granted $5 000 bail each and
given two days to vacate their properties by Magistrate Godwin Chizhande.
Deck Odendaal, 53, Thomas Bezuidenhout, 70, Andrew McMurdon, 82, Johannes
Odendaal, 49, and Albertus Pepler, 63, were remanded to 27 September.

      Legal experts said the authorities had no legal basis to force the
farmers out of their farms when their cases were still pending before the

      "The Zimbabwean Constitution clearly states that a person is innocent
until proven guilty.

      "Therefore, if the farmers have been brought before the courts and are
told to vacate their farms it amounts to saying they are guilty," said a
legal expert who could not be named for professional reasons.

      The High Court recently issued a Provisional Order in which it ordered
the Minister of Lands, the Minister of Justice, and the Attorney General to
show cause why the new amendment to the Land Acquisition Act should not be
declared invalid.
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Daily News

      Magistrates strike

      8/20/02 8:51:53 AM (GMT +2)

      From Brian Mangwende in Mutare

      Abandon work in protest at brutal assault of colleague by war vets

      MAGISTRATES and prosecutors in Manicaland yesterday abandoned work to
protest against the brutal assault last week of their colleague in Chipinge
by suspected war veterans. The courts in Mutare and Chipinge did not sit

      Last Friday, Walter Chikwanha, the Chipinge magistrate, was allegedly
dragged out of his courtroom by suspected war veterans and assaulted at the
government complex after he dismissed an application by the State to remand
in custody five MDC officials.

      Chikwanha's whereabouts were still unknown by yesterday. Officials
from the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs would not
comment. A Chipinge court official said: "We are not open today because
there is no magistrate. He was beaten up on Friday and we don't know where
he is or when he will return to work. At the moment things are at a

      Prosecutors at Mutare Magistrates' Court who spoke on condition of
anonymity confirmed they were not on duty. One prosecutor said: "This is
unheard of. It is a total breakdown of the rule of law in the country and we
cannot be seen to condone it. How on earth can people just walk into a
courtroom, drag the presiding magistrate out and assault him?"Chikwanha
granted $20 000 bail each to seven people, among them five MDC officials, in
a case in which they are being accused of burning two government tractors in
Chipinge. A few days after their release, the five were re-arrested, but
Chikwanha refused to place them in custody, saying the State had no tangible
evidence to warrant their detention.

      Edmund Maingire, the provincial police spokesman, said he was not
aware that Chikwanha had been assaulted.

      He said: "I have not heard anything of that nature. I am hearing it
from you for the first time."

      Sam Kudya, the chief magistrate, was not available for comment.

      Manicaland's provincial magistrate, Hosiah Mujaya, said: "Get
clearance from head office first. In future, do not waste your time phoning
me without the
      necessary clearance."

      Soon after attacking the magistrate, the suspected ex-fighters
proceeded to the law firm of Matutu, Kwirira and Associates apparently in
search of Langton Mhungu, the accused's lawyer. Mhungu said the windscreen
of his car was smashed during the attack. He has fled Chipinge and sought
refuge in Masvingo.
      "I have evacuated my family and will only go back after the police
have made an undertaking to normalise the situation in Chipinge," he said

      David Mangota, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice,
Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, who is on leave, has promised to
investigate the matter.
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Daily News


      Poor Zimbabweans slink out of Kinshasa empty-handed

      8/20/02 8:42:04 AM (GMT +2)

      As Zimbabwean troops move out of the Congo, perhaps we need to look
back and assess our four-year adventure in the central African jungle.

      It is an undeniable fact that we lost some of our finest officers and
men in that protracted war, just as we did in Mozambique. While we howl a
lot of pan-Africanist hot air, we never seem to learn from our gruelling

      The final agreement was hammered out by South Africans who are now
moving fast into Luanda and Kinshasa to do business. We can only watch in
amazement, with nothing to say, nothing to offer. No investors. No benefits.
We crawl back empty-handed. So, why did we sacrifice precious life and limb?

      For 14 years, Zimbabwe almost bled to death protecting a beleaguered
Frelimo regime in Mozambique against rebels sponsored by a vicious apartheid
government in South Africa.

      When peace was finally achieved, South Africa turned the tables, moved
in with speed and literally gained the blessings and wholesale acceptance of
the Maputo government, our erstwhile natural ally.

      Boer farmers, scanning the banks of the Zambezi, the coastal ruins of
Xai Xai, Zambezia, Nacala and Maputo and the rich lands of Niassa and Cabo
Delgado, were slotted into tourism and agriculture ventures.

      South African companies rushed in to rebuild the war-ravaged
infrastructure and poured their manufactured goods onto Mozambican shelves.
Zimbabweans were nowhere to be seen, even in the Beira Corridor, our natural
outlet to the world, which we developed and maintained for over a decade.

      Pretoria's products dominate markets in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Lesotho,
Swaziland, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. They are invading the
Angolan and Congolese markets, after we have spent billions of dollars
cleaning them up.

      Their first target was the mining industry before advancing with beer,
nails, bolts, nuts, chains, vehicle spares, tinned food, everything. They
are pumping in an initial R30 billion in investment (Z$180 billion).

      Even Congolese musicians have shifted ground. They no longer offer
Harare ndombolo shows. They are gyrating and twirling with their complex
footwork towards Johannesburg.

      Luanda has offered Pretoria huge contracts to clear the heavily mined
countryside, open up roads, repair bridges, rebuild schools, clinics and
that, again, everything.

      Angolans and the Congolese know that Zimbabweans are so busy that they
can't even improve their own homes. They are all in the bush, admiring the
virginity of their newly found pieces of raw earth! Post-apartheid South
Africa has benefited most from the weak and poorly managed northern
economies. Pretoria's manufactured goods grace shop shelves from Mbabane to
Kisangani, Maseru to Arusha.

      South African businesses, from used car dealers to farmers, have found
a ready market for literally anything they make, making it impossible for
local industries to compete and sustain themselves against a flood of
well-polished products.

      Of the 14 countries in Sadc, Zimbabwe was for many years South Africa'
s main competitor in terms of development and economic progress. Our
products, including skilled professionals, fought for consumer space inside
South Africa itself, apart from their dominance in other neighbouring

      Pretoria has often envied Zimbabwe for its abundant and well-trained
manpower pool, safety and security and a widely respected political
firepower. That created a basis for petty fights for the leadership of the

      Zimbabwe is on its knees today, completely unable to sort out its
political mess. The economy has weakened substantially, affecting trade,
investment, employment and international goodwill.

      The continued loss of faith in the nation's fortunes has battered the
Zimbabwe dollar, driven young, skilled professionals into economic exile,
fuelled inflation and compromised our previous leadership position as the
voice of reason in Africa. Against this background, is South Africa a
sympathetic neighbour or a player smelling a chance to score an irreversible
political and economic victory in a region awash with opportunities for
business growth and development?

      Is South Africa a dependable ally, either of the Mugabe regime or the
opposition? How dependable can Pretoria be, given its kid-glove stance on
the Zimbabwean impasse over the past two years?

      A stronger Zimbabwe will always scuttle Pretoria's political hold and,
to an extent, economic dominance over the region. Is it in Pretoria's
interests then to see a smiling and happy Zimbabwe, especially one without
Mugabe as its leader?

      An orderly society, drawing its strength from a professional workforce
with an impeccable work ethic that prides hard and honest work, could propel
Zimbabwe to a new post-Mugabe level, with impressive examples of sound
leadership and transparency.

      That would be sufficient to worry South Africa, a nation crying out
for an unchallenged position in the region.

      Zimbabwe's weaknesses today are providing South Africa with much
needed breathing space to break into the continent and use its newly
acquired wealth and opportunities to address its inherited problems, deal
with unemployment and raise its economic and political profile.

      President Mbeki skipped several countries in his search for partners
necessary to supervise Africa's recovery. His new allies are Nigeria and
Senegal, not Zimbabwe.

      South Africa's standing as an independent thinker and an economic
leader has risen tremendously while we play games with basic human rights
and regress into oblivion.

      No matter what we say about the past, we are turning the whole country
into a wasteland where millions beg and take on menial work despite their
high academic achievements.

      The political stalemate must be resolved, by all means necessary, for
Zimbabwe to reclaim its once envied regional leadership position. South
Africa, if anything, can skirt around us and open up new markets in our
devastated region, taking advantage of Zimbabwe's battered position as the
world's fastest-shrinking economy, in a fourth straight year of recession.

      For most of the past 22 years, Zimbabwe was a net exporter of maize
and so good were our supplies that the World Food Programme had an office in
Harare, not to distribute maize in Zimbabwe but to buy the grain for
distribution elsewhere. South Africans see pictures of starving children on
television, here we live with them.

      None but ourselves can reassert our previous position. Any politician
or manager must realise that as long as the phrases, "You are the boss" and
"Do as you wish", become a common chorus, trouble is on the horizon.
Zimbabweans are silently watching Mugabe.

      That is more dangerous than making noise. Conflict, like sex, must be
enjoyed because of the long-term benefits it usually generates. Without a
rough-grinding stone, there can never be any progress. We have had enough.
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The Scotsman

      Mbeki faces new pressure over Zimbabwe

      Fred Bridgland In Johannesburg

      PRESSURE is growing on South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, to take
a tough stand against his northern neighbour, Zimbabwe's President Robert

      A robust statement last weekend by Pacific Commonwealth leaders was
followed yesterday by a demand from the official opposition in Pretoria, the
Democratic Alliance (DA), that Mr Mbeki "end his chronic silence on the

      At the Commonwealth meeting, Australia's premier, John Howard, said
that he wanted "to throw the book" at Mr Mugabe.

      Tony Leon, the DA leader, insisted that an emergency parliamentary
debate be convened on the situation in Zimbabwe, where 176 white farmers
have been arrested for defying orders to vacate their farms.

      Mr Leon said that the arrests of two South Africans demanded a firm
response. "It is time that President Mbeki ended his chronic silence on the
reign of terror and cruel discrimination being practised by Robert Mugabe,"
Mr Leon said.

      One of the arrested South Africans Crawford Van Abo, a prominent
farmer in South Africa and Zimbabwe said that he and his farm manager,
Willem Klopper, had been offered no help by the South African high
commission in Harare. Mr Mbeki's spokesman, Ronnie Mamoepa, said South
Africa remained committed to its policy of "quiet diplomacy" towards

      However, Mr Leon commented: "On the eve of the World Summit on
Sustainable Development, it would be unfortunate if the perception arose
that Mr Mbeki's failure to speak out or to act was merely because the
victims in this case were white." Mr Mbeki's policies towards Mr Mugabe, who
will attend the event, are likely to dominate the summit.

      In advance of the two weeks of talks, which open in Johannesburg next
week, a massive clean-up of the convention area at Sandton, the richest
square mile of property in Africa, is being completed. Beggars have been
swept from the streets, roads that were already the best on the continent
have been resurfaced, millions of rose bushes and trees have been planted
and many square miles of turf have been laid. Meanwhile, conditions in
townships and shanties less than 20 miles away are as squalid as ever.

      a.. A British lecturer has been murdered at his home near Bulawayo.
Police have arrested his gardener and another man.

      As Jerzy Toloczko, 51, got home at 10pm last Wednesday, after a
two-month visit to his mother in Leicester, two men attacked him as he
parked his car. They battered him with an axe, wrapped him in a blanket and
buried him.

      They then broke into his house and stole clothes, a wallet and a
mobile phone.
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World 'ignoring' African food crisis

The head of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) says the world is
ignoring the food crisis in southern Africa.
Carol Bellamy, Unicef's executive director, appealed for $30m in aid for the
region when she visited Malawi, where three million people face starvation.

"Without help from the international community, things will get out of
hand," she said at a feeding centre in the shanty town of Ndirande on the
outskirts of Blantyre, Malawi's commercial capital.

Malawi's national co-ordinator for nutrition, Thereza Banda, told Ms Bellamy
that 7,000 Malawian children were on the verge of death.

Another 65,000 children in the country were suffering from malnutrition, Ms
Banda added.

Malawi declared a state of disaster in February over a severe food shortage.

Empty classrooms

The Unicef director said that the food crisis had also hit schools in the
country, with more than 500,000 students dropping out.

Malawi's school enrolment had tripled in 1994 to 3.2 million when free
primary education was introduced.

Unicef has set aside $3.5m for Malawi's malnourished children and lactating
mothers, Ms Bellamy said.

A spokeswoman for the World Food Programme, Thigo Mtegha, told the BBC that
many families in Malawi were at the end of their resources.

"What you are seeing are households that have a little bit of food that are
saying that this food will last for a period of a month after which they
will have no coping strategy whatsoever," she said.

The Unicef director was in Malawi at the start of a regional tour which will
also take her to Zambia, Kenya and South Africa.
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Advertiser - Australia

193 farmers in court as land seized

HARARE: Dozens of white farmers were in courts across Zimbabwe yesterday as
police continued to make arrests, bringing to 193 the number charged with
defying orders to leave their homes under President Robert Mugabe's
contentious land reforms.

But the courts - mainly in rural districts - handed down widely varying
rulings, with some judges telling farmers to return home and others giving
them only one day to leave, said David Connolly, chairman of the farm lobby,
Justice for Agriculture.

Bail payments have varied between $165 and $330, JAG officials said.

Neither police nor farming groups could say how many of those arrested had
received court hearings, but JAG officials said most appeared to have been
granted bail and remanded out of custody.

About 2900 farmers faced an August 8 deadline to leave their homes, with
about two-in-three ignoring the order.

JAG disputes a Government claim that only white owners of more than one farm
have been told to leave. It says evictions affect many black farm workers.
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From BBC News, 19 August

Transcript of a programme shown on BBC2 Newsnight

Zimbabwe is now in crisis with millions starving as a result of Robert Mugabe's land grab policy. Almost two hundred white farmers have been arrested for defying Mugabe's instruction to stop farming. And where farmers have fled or been forced out war veterans and Zanu PF supporters have let fertile fields and crops rot, planting nothing and creating a wasteland. Foreign and local journalists continue to be harassed and even jailed for reporting what's going on and the BBC is banned from the country. However our reporter Sue Lloyd Roberts entered the country posing as a tourist and armed with a small video camera.

Sue Lloyd-Roberts: Zimbabwe can boast some of the most magnificent sights in Africa, but there are few tourists here today to admire them. News of machete-wielding war veterans attacking whites is having its effect, and the wildlife go about their business unnoticed. Because the BBC is banned from the country, I entered as a tourist, in itself a challenge given that the tourist is about as rare today as the white rhino. I set off to hunt for the white farmer, who was also becoming an endangered species in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. I started in Mashonaland near Harare, the area traditionally most loyal to the president and which has seen the biggest exodus of farmers. This after-church gathering was once attended by some 100 farming families. Today only four are left to exchange the latest tales of police harassment, like being arrested for using a video camera on his own farm.

Bill Pace: He did confiscate the tape. I was grilled for three hours with a CIO bloke breathing down my neck, who wanted to confiscate my British passport. They have told me that if there is anything untoward or if they think there is anything nasty in there, I will be arrested for sedition and conspiracy. I asked one of the farmers to show me an occupied farm.

Lloyd-Roberts: I accompanied one farmer back to her farm where she’s packing up.

Kathy Kirkman: I feel so sorry for most of the settlers here because they seem to be so conned and they have been told such a different story as to what is actually happening.

Lloyd-Roberts: Kathy took me to her farm, where the settlers - they have been told they mustn't use the word "squatter" - moved in two years ago. She says they don't stand a chance of making a going concern of it. They have cut down trees, killed the cattle, planted nothing, and as one of them approaches us with a knife in his right hand, don't make friendly neighbours.

Kirkman: We used to grow maize and wheat. Please put the camera down quickly.

Lloyd-Roberts: I hid the camera as the people who now want to take Kathy's house came up to talk to her.

Kirkman: They told me if I was still in our house by Friday, I would be made a martyr. I said what did that mean and they laughed.

Lloyd-Roberts: Kathy and her husband bought the farm they have now been told they have to vacate after independence in 1980, and only after checking with the government that it had no interest in the property.

Kirkman: All the family photos are out.

Lloyd-Roberts: Their plan had been to move the valuables out and live in town until the current troubles pass. But now that she has been physically threatened, and with the thought of the children returning to the house, she is not so sure.

Kirkman: It is difficult to see what you work for, for 10, 13 odd years just possibly disappearing in front of your eyes. It is hard to see all that going. But we still hope to be here. I still feel that we will come back and we will pick up the pieces and carry on.

Lloyd-Roberts: Is that realistic?

Kirkman: Maybe not.

Lloyd-Roberts: The white farmers of Zimbabwe may face an uncertain future but at least they have escape routes. If their situation becomes untenable many have told me they have families and friends standing by in the cities and the country who are prepared to take them in. Others don't like to admit it publicly but say they are planning to farm in neighbouring Mozambique or South Africa or maybe as far afield as New Zealand. But faced with famine and drought the majority of blacks in this country have nowhere to go. In the village of some 200 people in the Midlands, between Matabeleland and Mashonaland, they have just 20 kilos of maize, the staple diet here, left to last until the next harvest next June. This lady says her family's supply will probably last another week. She prepares the one meal of the day - cow's intestine and a tomato. The problem is, it is to feed a family of 16. Her father, Sema Deya, like thousands of black workers, was laid off from a commercial farm. Now he says the family will starve.

Sema Deya translation: I have two cows left. And then nothing. Life was good when I had the wage. It was not a good idea to invade the white farms.

Lloyd-Roberts: During the election earlier this year, the village made the mistake of supporting the opposition party, the MDC – the Movement for Democratic Change. Now they are being punished. This family is fairly typical. The father has died of AIDS and the family is now living on wild nuts. Food analysts say Zimbabwe only has enough food left to feed half its 13 million people. The government is making sure that the opposition starves first. At a human rights organisation in the neighbouring town, I am shown the names of over 1,000 heads of families in one region who have been deliberately denied food. One of them explains why.

Ezra Ncube translation: When the food truck arrives in a village, everyone chants Zanu PF slogans like, "Long live Robert Mugabe", "Down with the whites", "Down with the MDC." Anyone who does not have Zanu PF membership card is accused of being in support of whites and Tony Blair and told to get their food from Number Ten Downing Street in London. Most people don't even know where London is. I tell you that people are starving and dying.

Lloyd-Roberts: The politicisation of food extends to the millions of pounds of aid now entering the country. The British are offering £30 million a year to the government to help buy food. Zimbabweans fear that that money will go straight to Robert Mugabe's supporters. Food shortages and fear are now stalking the country. I was advised to take pictures of the queues you see everywhere through tinted car windows. You can be arrested for recording reality in Zimbabwe today. In the supermarkets there are queues but no bread, in this the country that was once the bread basket of southern Africa. For the whites, the absurdity is that the land feeding the country is being handed to those who are ill equipped for the job.

Peter Rosenfels: Many of the settlers don't actually live here. They have jobs in the city and come out for weekends.

Lloyd-Roberts: Peter Rosenfels' farm is some 300 miles to the west in Matabeleland where nearly every white farm has been invaded. Hundreds of acres lie fallow as he has been prevented by the settlers from planting.

Rosenfels: Zimbabwe is the most amazing paradox at the moment. The country's government ministers are getting around the world begging for food. At the same time they have criminalised those who are growing the food.

Lloyd-Roberts: His family has been here since his great great grandfather, Omagh, crossed the Limpopo in 1894.

Rosenfels: We have been declared enemies of the state. We have been told we must give up everything we have owned and leave. To where? I am a Zimbabwean and I have nowhere else to go.

Lloyd-Roberts: He has laid off 30 workers and the only thing making any profit is his small pickling business. What do the remaining workers think of the settlers?

Female worker translation: They don't help the country and they are not productive. They just sit around doing nothing.

Lloyd-Roberts: Are you saying that just because the boss is listening?

Female worker translation: I am speaking the truth.

Lloyd-Roberts: In all, some 3,000 white farmers and half a million of their black workers could be displaced, but could this have been avoided if the white farmers had done more 20 years ago at independence to bring the blacks into commercial farming?

Mac Crawford: Yes, there were injustices. Yes, there were imbalances in the past. But that should have been corrected and done properly. Asking me to stand up and defend or asking me to correct it is wrong. I have my own life and my family's and I want to live a normal life.

Lloyd Roberts: But those left in Zimbabwe are now well aware that life can never be normal again.

Rosenfels: The day to day life is very tense. Early morning and early evening there is a roll call duty around the district. Everyone calls in on radio to make sure everyone else is fine and we carry on our lives like that.

Female voice over radio: Everything is quiet this side, thanks very much.

Rosenfels: Cheers, out. It is similar to the way it was during the height of the bush war and we have gone straight back to that type of life where you are living right on the edge.

Lloyd-Roberts: For the whites it is the end of a lifestyle. Most blacks live in fear of their lives. These are the feet of a person who had burning logs held to his feet... Another human rights organisation showed me recent pictures of MDC supporters tortured and killed for the wrong political affiliation. There is no-one these people can appeal to. The police act as agents of a brutal government.

Ncube: I know I am going to die but this country should change. I know my children are suffering at the present moment. If the police arrive at my home my children run away screaming, saying "They are coming to kill my father." You can't live in a country like that. It is very difficult.

Lloyd-Roberts: Many blacks say it is a lottery as to what will finish them off first. Mugabe's henchmen, AIDS or starvation.

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Comment from ZWNEWS, 21 August

Beware the U-turn

Michael Hartnack

Despite the arrests of hundreds of whites in Zimbabwe for daring to continue trying to grow crops or even occupy family homes, no one should be surprised if a sudden apparent U-turn is announced by Robert Mugabe's regime on the issue of whites and land. It would be a gross misreading to interpret this as "readiness to be conciliatory,'' or a triumph for "quiet diplomacy by African brothers,'' or surrender in the face of famine and diplomatic pressure. The fact is that though Mugabe was forced to retreat from imposing a one-party state on Zimbabwe in the 1980s, he has never given up the idea of removing everyone's autonomy by having their family's livelihood depend on the goodwill of himself and his party. There are already the first signs of a coming announcement that suitably qualified whites will be permitted leases alongside black agricultural graduates for farms that comply with maximum specified holding sizes in the various agricultural regions. Sizes range from a few hundred hectares in the better-watered Region One (near Harare) to over a thousand in the arid west that is generally thought suitable only for extensive ranching. It will be announced that, as a refutation of detractors who say he was out to ethnically cleanse whites from Zimbabwe, whites will be able to obtain leases on exactly the same terms as black citizens. What could be more reasonable?

As Mugabe put it at the annual Heroes Day ceremonies on August 12: "We shall always welcome and respect loyal citizens or residents who co-operate with government and respect our people, policies and decisions.'' "All genuine and well meaning white farmers, who wish to pursue a farming career as loyal citizens of this country, need not go without land," he added. Only those who want to "own land for Britain" who would have to pack and go. For them "the game is up.'' The key to understanding what Mugabe and his Zanu PF party are up to - for blacks as well as whites - is the word "leases.'' The ruling party moguls, security force chiefs and 54 000 others getting so-called "model 2" holdings, capable of being farmed on an individual basis, will not be granted the freehold their 5 000 white predecessors had (The first 2 900 seizure and eviction orders fell due on August 9 and scores of whites were detained over the past weekend for defying them, although their constitutional validity is heavily in doubt). At the first sign of political disloyalty the "new farmers", as Mugabe calls them, will be liable to instant eviction.

"Owning land for Britain" means supporting civil society, or talking to human rights groups critical of Zanu PF, or voting for an opposition party. Mugabe showered praise on his ruling party youth militia, now commonly known here as the "Green Bombers". Their fraudulent claims to be ex-guerrillas from the 1972-80 bush war in Rhodesia were exposed in the early days of farm invasions, after the February 2000 constitutional referendum. It was the crushing defeat of Zanu PF in that referendum that caused Mugabe to unleash country-wide violence under cover of agitation for land reform in order to ensure a semblance of victory in the June 2000 parliamentary elections and the March 2002 presidential poll. This campaign of terror Mugabe calls the "Third Chimurenga" or civil war. "The Third Chimurenga has yielded a New War Veteran: these young men and women who slugged it out on the farms in support of their elder veterans…We are not apologetic about our national youth service programme…it is mandatory, it is national, it links to the politics and defence of our country…It seeks to and will build a new national cadre who is self respecting, adequate, assertive and patriotic and thus does not apologise for being black,'' he said. Mugabe sees his enemy as "White-ism" – the route ``through which the forces of imperialism and neo-colonialism enter.''

Mugabe either does not know that it is impossible to run commercially viable farms on the lord-and-vassal system he is imposing, or feels that the economic costs are more than offset by the blessings of "political stability" (i.e. he gets to stay in power until he can hand over to his children). Commercial agriculture here only prospered by being keenly responsive to world market trends. In the 20 years since the state monopoly, the Minerals Marketing Corporation, was created, millions have been lost through the tardiness of bureaucrats in responding to potential orders – they are paid for loyalty, not for initiative. Doris Lessing, a founder member of Rhodesia's long defunct Communist party, concedes that her father's Kermanshah Farm at Banket (one of the 2 900 now being seized, although her family sold up 60 years ago) was hopelessly sub-economic at 400 hectares - and those were the days of ox-ploughing. To maintain competitive edge in an age of mechanisation, farmers need security of tenure, title deeds that can be lodged with financial institutions against loans. A viable farm here usually needs a proportion of irrigable land (with a sufficient catchment area and its own dam) that can be worked in conjunction with "dry land" crops and grazing.

Agronomists suspect many of the moguls getting a few hundred hectares have no intention of working them commercially. They will be "cellphone farmers" developing retirement homes and weekend retreats where they can run "bush" cattle with 1 to 2 percent annual offtake. Unlike their urban counterparts who vote for Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, many of the moguls are polygamists, and rural holdings are useful dumping grounds for superannuated wives. Without skills or capital, such women scratch a living with no hope of a profit. Mugabe's "land reform" does not just mean bringing a few remaining whites to heel economically or ideologically. It means a defeat for women's rights and children's rights, a return to witch hunts and intellectual sterility in all aspects of national life. All should think hard if they hear the news of a "breakthrough.''

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Mail and Guardian

Inflation reaches 123,5% in Zimbabwe


While queues lengthened for maize meal, sugar, cooking oil and other
staples, Zimbabwe's Central Statistic Office on Wednesday reported inflation
had reached at all time high of 123,5%.

Increases in the prices of food and clothing were the main contributors to
the latest surge, said a bulletin released by the office, covering the
period to the end of July.

Inflation fell back temporarily from 120 to 114% in June. Independent
economists fear inflation could exceed 200% by year-end as the nation is hit
by the combined effects of drought and political turmoil.

In addition to scarcities of basic food items, there has been a return to
sporadic shortages of petrol and diesel over the past week, allegedly due to
troubles with Libyan suppliers.

Police reported on Wednesday that a man was beaten to death in Harare's Old
Mbare market in a dispute over a bag of maize. The country needs to import
1,5 tons to avert famine, but has so far managed to bring in only a fraction
due to logistical problems.

Industrialist Jonee Blanchfield said runaway inflation caused particularly
severe hardship to those on small fixed incomes.

Most pensioners are now suffering because of the inflation scourge," she
said. - Sapa-DPA

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Daily News

Leader Page

      Census results should not be tampered with

      8/20/02 8:56:01 AM (GMT +2)

      IN any other country, and at any other time in the history
      of Zimbabwe, a population census should be no cause for alarm,
trepidation or even controversy.

      Enumerators go around the countryside, physically recording the
existence of each citizen and their general situation: are they employed,
how many people live in the household, how far did they go with their
education, how many children do they have?

      An important question is: have there been any deaths in the family in
the last 12 months? In a country ravaged by HIV/Aids and whose life
expectancy has dropped sharply as a result of this hideous disease, this is
a very important question.

      In fact, it is so important that if the final population figure is
only slightly above that of the 1992 census, not many people would be
surprised. In Africa, only South Africa and Botswana have more frightening
statistics of deaths from the pandemic than Zimbabwe.

      The government reacted rather sluggishly to the first indications of
the pandemic in the early 1980s. By the time the Aids levy was pushed
through Parliament, many lives had been lost needlessly. After every worker
was obliged to contribute to the levy, there is still no cast-iron guarantee
that all the funds are being used properly.

      The idea was reportedly once entertained to use some of the funds for
a beauty contest. This was scandalous. So far, nobody has been penalised for
having made that callous proposal. But this is typical of the government -
many of its functionaries have got away, literally, with murder. The 1992
census results generated much heat, largely because the government was
accused of "cooking up" the figures for political reasons. The allegation
was that in Bulawayo and Chitungwiza, for instance, where Zanu PF enjoyed
only incidental support, the population figures were understated.

      By that time, allegations of vote-rigging had already been made.
People were so disillusioned with the government's track record it was not
difficult for them to believe it had somehow rigged the census as well. The
population was eventually placed at 13 million, give or take a few hundreds
of thousands. Development plans since then have been made on the basis of
those figures. If they were wrong, then those plans were similarly skewed
and the benefits to the people just as fictitious. Certainly, the final
census figures are crucial, if we are to believe that all governments
religiously take them into account before they draw up any development

      But in Africa, there have been amazing reports of how ruling parties
have played tricks with population censuses, their main aim being to garner
as much political benefits as they can from fictitious figures, much as the
corporate accountants of a number of big United States companies have been
known recently to create huge profits where none existed. Among African
countries notorious for unreliable census figures is Nigeria, which also
holds the all-time record for the most corrupt country on the continent, if
not in the world.
      A recent report spoke of voters' rolls being chewed up, incredibly, by
      Zimbabwe has enough problems without having to contend with fictitious
census figures. We have presidential election results which were so
manifestly incredible that even school-children chuckle at their naive
acceptance by a supposedly mature and hard-boiled adult population.

      We are faced with a massive food shortage as the government evicts
commercial farmers.Before the census got under way in earnest last week,
there were reports of underfunding. Previously, there was enough
donor-funding for the exercise.

      Ten years down the line, nobody is willing to risk funding a project
that may be as flawed as the presidential election. The government's track
record of perfidy has caught up with it. We can only hope that the
enumerators are men and women of such integrity they will refuse to be
pressured into "creating" people where none exist, or "kill them off" where
they would disadvantage the ruling party in an election.
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The Age

Howard cautious on Zimbabwe
CANBERRA|Published: Wednesday August 21, 2:06 PM

Diplomatic moves on the land crisis in Zimbabwe were under way and it was
too early to consider tougher measures against the African country, Prime
Minister John Howard said.

But Australia remained very unhappy about the lack of responsiveness by
Robert Mugabe's government to the Commonwealth's urgings that the president
reform Zimbabwe's fragile economy and political processes.

Asked if it was time to extend the Commonwealth's sanctioning to a new
level, Mr Howard, who heads the Commonwealth troika appointed to monitor the
Zimbabwe situation, said diplomatic moves were still under way.

"I've indicated before that there are some diplomatic moves in process at
the present time," he told reporters.

"They will take not a long time, but I'd like a little bit more time to go
by before I respond to that question."

He acknowledged Zimbabwe had already been given more time to respond.

"Australia is very unhappy and I think most Commonwealth countries are very
unhappy with the lack of responsiveness by the Mugabe government to the
Commonwealth's reasonable expectations," he said.

"The troika was authorised to deal with the matter (and) we reacted to the
unambiguous evidence from the observer group that the election had been
conducted improperly and contained many abuses.

"Clearly, there are consequences flowing from that."

Mr Howard's comments come as Zimbabwean police continue to hunt for white
farmers refusing to comply with a government edict to move off their land.
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Daily News

      Acute staff shortage hits national parks

      8/21/02 8:38:37 AM (GMT +2)

      By Rhodah Mashavave

      The Department of National Parks is facing serious staffing problems
in the wake of a spate of resignations which have undermined its operations.

      The department has been without a substantive director since the
appointment of retired Brigadier Empiracus Kanhanga in an acting capacity
three years ago.

      Several workers who either resigned or died over the past three years
have not been replaced.

      "We are understaffed and there is low morale among the workers," said
a worker who refused to be named during a guided tour of national parks by

      At Kariba research centre, which conducts research on fish, there are
two ecologists instead of five.

      Kenneth Ngwarai, the National Parks provincial officer for Mashonaland
West said: "I hope the problem will be solved soon as the post of
director-general was advertised in the newspapers last week.

      "There is a lot of work and there are few people. The appointment of
the director-general will ease some of the problems."

      At Tashinga Camp in Matusadona, near Kariba, there are 43 instead of
120 workers.

      Jeffrey Matipano, the resident ecologist in Matusadona said: "The
delays in the transformation of the organisation into an authority have
demoralised a lot of workers because there is a lot of work being done by
the few members of staff."

      Francis Buyeye, Tashinga camp warden said: "Ideally we should be 120
but we are only 43."

      Matusadona is an intensive protection zone for endangered black
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Daily News

      Bread shortage hits Harare

      8/21/02 8:41:19 AM (GMT +2)

      By Henry Makiwa

      THERE was a bread shortage in Harare over the past week with one
leading bakery scaling down production due to dwindling supplies of wheat.

      A snap survey last week revealed that most large retail outlets had
run out of bread, while others were rationing because of the limited stocks
of wheat.

      Long queues formed at Lobels' Bakeries along Simon Mazorodze Road
where customers where being restricted to two loaves each.

      An official at Lobels who refused to be named said the company had
been forced to close down five of its production units in the city leading
to reduced production of bread.

      "Lobels has closed down operations at their Mufakose, Kuwadzana, Glen
View and Machipisa bakeries owing to the shortage of wheat," he said.

      "We have cut down production from 20 000 to only 9 000 dozen loaves of
bread a day in the past three weeks."

      Another employee at a leading bread outlet said his company had
reduced working hours to minimise production costs and salaries.

      Consumers interviewed blamed the shortages on the government's often
violent land seizures which have disrupted production on commercial farms
from which white farmers are being evicted.

      Moses Bhambeni of Crowborough North said: "We now have to endure long
hours in queues daily to get a single loaf of bread due to their skewed

      Commercial farmers account for more than half of the country's total
wheat production.
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