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

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Zimbabwe endgame

Private pressure is better than public

Saturday August 24, 2002
The Guardian

How to bring pressure to bear on a regime which is oppressing and damaging its own people is one of the perennial problems of international politics. Attempts from outside to force a government to adopt different policies or to actually force out a government can so easily produce the opposite of the effect intended, quite apart from any objections in principle on the grounds of sovereignty. In the case of Zimbabwe, the problem is made more difficult by the reluctance of other African countries to take a strong public stance against a fraternal country, especially if it looks as if they are doing so at western urging.

The solution put forward by Michael Ancram in the article he contributed to the Guardian this week is that Tony Blair take the lead in waking up Zimbabwe's neighbours to their responsibilities by refusing to participate in discussions relating to Africa at the earth summit in Johannesburg next week and refusing to sign up to any sections of the final communique that cover African development. Iain Duncan Smith has supported his shadow foreign secretary to the extent of calling on Mr Blair not to share a platform with Robert Mugabe. The difficulty with these proposals is that they call for a disruption of international negotiations, a tactic of which in other circumstances British politicians of all parties have been rightly critical, and they involve a grandstanding approach likely to produce a confrontation that will help nobody. It is not that there is anything wrong in proposing a connection between development aid and good government. But such connections are best made in private, especially if they tend toward the threatening end of the diplomatic spectrum.

Earlier this week, American officials revealed that the United States was providing advice, training and finance to Zimbabwean unions, human rights groups and journalists. America's assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Walter Kansteiner, took a robust line by stating that "the political status quo" in Zimbabwe was "unacceptable because the elections were fraudulent" and that the United States would work with other countries in the region "to correct that situation". We can take these American remarks as code for exactly the kind of calls on the neighbours which Mr Ancram and Mr Duncan Smith demand and which we can be certain the UK as well as the US are already making privately.

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Straw attacks Tory plan to tackle Mugabe

Aid link would punish all of Africa, say critics

Nicholas Watt, political Correspondent
Saturday August 24, 2002
The Guardian

Iain Duncan Smith was accused yesterday of planning to inflict "cruel" punishment on Africa after he called for British aid to the entire continent to be linked to reforms in Zimbabwe.

Amid unease among senior Tory MPs at the proposal, the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, warned that it would be wrong to "punish the whole of Africa for the sins of one man".

Mr Straw spoke out after the Tory leader called on Tony Blair to use next week's earth summit in Johannesburg to force Zimbabwe's neighbours to crack down on Robert Mugabe. In a letter to the prime minister, Mr Duncan Smith said that British aid to the Nepad investment programme for Africa should be tied to "effective action against Mugabe".

The shadow foreign secretary, Michael Ancram, went further in a Guardian article yesterday, calling on Mr Blair to refuse to discuss African development at the summit if Zimbabwe's neighbours do not pledge tougher action.

The Tory plans were angrily dismissed by Mr Straw who said that Britain had been in the forefront of international opposition to Zimbabwe, leading to its suspensions from the Commonwealth.

"Today's suggestion from Mr Duncan Smith that the aid and investment programme for the whole of Africa [Nepad] be put on hold as a result of the Mugabe regime is particularly ill-considered," he said.
"Not only would it hinder attempts to isolate Mugabe, but its cruel effect would be to pun ish the whole of Africa for the sins of one man. In doing so it would push back the prospects for a continent which has suffered for too long from hunger, mismanagement and disease.

"There has never been any question of the current regime in Zimbabwe benefiting from Nepad."
The Tory call for Britain to step back from ambitious plans for the development of Africa - one of the key goals of the prime minister's foreign policy - was dismissed last night by a senior Tory MP.

Tony Baldry, the chairman of the Commons international development select committee who will go to the earth summit as part of the official British delegation, said: "We obviously want to do everything we can to promote good governance in Zimbabwe. But it is perilous to be too rigid in linking humanitarian support to good governance.

"What is happening in Zimbabwe is inexcusable and it is extremely disappointing there has not been greater peer pressure from its neighbours. But it would be difficult to focus the entire summit on one country."

Mr Baldry's remarks highlighted unease among some Tory MPs that the party leadership has overplayed its hand by calling for Britain to abandon its extensive aid programmes in Africa because of the Zimbabwe situation.

There are concerns that Mr Duncan Smith, who served in Rhodesia as an army officer during the run-up to independence, is making headlines out of an issue that appeals to core Tory voters. "You should see the postbags Conservative MPs get on Zimbabwe," one senior Tory said.

The latest row between the Conservatives and the government was sparked when Mr Duncan Smith and Mr Ancram called on the prime minister to protest against Mr Mugabe by refusing to appear on the same platform during the Johannesburg summit.

The environment secretary, Margaret Beckett, who leads the main British delegation, told the Today programme Britain was determined not to allow the issue of Zimbabwe to hijack the summit.

"The Zimbabwean government is under no illusion about the British government's attitude to the policies that they have been pursuing," she said. "Indeed some of the rudest things that have ever been said about Tony Blair have been said by Robert Mugabe because of the British government's opposition."

Mr Ancram said her remarks showed that she was not fit to attend the summit. "If she doesn't understand the relevance of Robert Mugabe's deliberate starvation policies in Zimbabwe to the earth summit then she should not be going," he said.
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Mugabe dissolves cabinet in move linked to farm seizures

Cris Chinaka in HARARE

ZIMBABWE’S president, Robert Mugabe, dissolved his cabinet yesterday in a surprise move that official sources said was linked to a government drive to seize white-owned farms for landless blacks.

Mr Mugabe, who has vowed to press ahead with the seizures despite resistance from farmers and growing criticism abroad, will announce a new cabinet on Monday, a statement said.

It gave no reason for the move by Mr Mugabe, 78, who has ruled the southern African country since leading it to independence in 1980.

Zimbabwe has been gripped by a political and economic crisis since pro-government militants invaded white-owned farms in early 2000 in support of Mr Mugabe’s campaign to redistribute farms to landless blacks.

Official sources said that Mr Mugabe had summoned his ministers and his two vice-presidents for a meeting yesterday, at which he discussed the controversial land seizure drive.

"The stories we are hearing are that he expressed unhappiness with the way in which some of his ministers are handling the land issue," one source said.

Mr Mugabe’s government has ordered 2,900 of the country’s remaining 4,500 white commercial farmers to vacate their properties without compensation.

But nearly two-thirds have defied an 8 August deadline to leave their farms, and police have arrested more than 200.

Civic groups speculated that the cabinet moved could have been prompted by court challenges filed by the opposition and white farmers that argue Mr Mugabe’s cabinet is illegal because it was not reappointed after a March election as required by the constitution.

"I think there is a realisation on his part that legally he was on slippery ground," said Lovemore Madhuku, chair of the National Constitutional Assembly, a coalition of civic groups.
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Use Earth Summit to put pressure on Robert Mugabe
Iain Duncan Smith has written to the Prime Minister urging him to use the forthcoming Earth Summit in Johannesburg to demand that African nations take "effective action" against Zimbabwe.

In his letter to Mr Blair, Mr Duncan Smith said the Nepad (New Economic Partnership for African Development) programme agreed at the recent G8 summit in Canada was specifically linked to "good governance" in Africa. He said the Prime Minister should use the Earth Summit on sustainable development to "exert leverage" on the African states - particularly the southern African states - to in turn put pressure on Mugabe.

He told Mr Blair, "You should start by making it clear that our financial participation in Nepad must, as part of that partnership, be reflected in the encouragement of good governance - and that this must logically and morally include effective action against Mugabe".

Mugabe's policy of forcing white farmers off their land was "wreaking havoc" in a country which was once the bread basket of southern Africa and the summit would become a "farce" if it failed to address the issue, he said.

Mr Duncan Smith also said that Mr Blair, whose summit address on September 2 is scheduled for just an hour before Mr Mugabe's, should boycott the Zimbabwean president's speech.
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Letter to Tony Blair from Iain Duncan Smith on Zimbabwe

The Rt Hon Tony Blair
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street

Dear Prime Minister

Earlier this summer you attended the G8 Economic Summit in Canada at which the issue of NePad and African development was discussed. Most people would have thought that any discussion on African development and good governance on the continent would inevitably require one to address the politically created humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

Yet, despite our suggestions and please, the Summit ignored Zimbabwe and both the final communiqué and your statement to the House failed even to refer to it. You also have an opportunity to exert leverage at the forthcoming Earth Summit in Johannesburg next week.

Robert Mugabe and his illegitimate Government are wreaking havoc in a county that was the bread-basket of southern Africa. It is now unable to feed its own people let alone its drought-stricken neighbours. Zimbabweans, black and white alike, are being persecuted and are suffering. The rule of law has all but collapsed. Human rights are being trampled underfoot.

At the Summit you will have the opportunity to tackle this issue. You should start by making it clear that our financial participation in NePad must as part of that partnership be reflected in the encouragement of good governance – and that this must logically and morally include effective action against Mugabe.

Your platform is ready made. The provisional Summit agenda shows that you will be addressing the Summit at 4pm on Monday 2nd September. You will be sharing the platform with Robert Mugabe who will speak at 5pm, along with Africa’s ‘new emperor’ Colonel Gaddafi, who is on shortly after. I believe you should boycott the Mugabe address. You could not possibly share a platform with someone who seeks to humiliate our country and place British citizens at great risk.

Furthermore, in your address you should condemn Mugabe and demonstrate that the Summit will turn into a farce unless it does not address the crisis in Zimbabwe. The issue of sustainable development cannot be tackled whilst one of its delegates is systematically starving his own people, driving efficient farmers off highly productive land and forcing farm workers to live in squatter camps by the side of roads.

You should call on member countries of the SADC to acknowledge the grave damage that is being done to the region by Mugabe. You should take the opportunity and make it clear that our continued governance in Zimbabwe. This must include a commitment to securing fresh and genuinely fair elections in Zimbabwe and to restoring human rights.

You have the support of Premiers John Howard of Australia and Helen Clark of New Zealand along with most of the Pacific countries of the Commonwealth. The Canadians are behind us, the Americans are now actively working with opposition groups in Zimbabwe for regime change. You now have a golden opportunity to fulfil your promise of last year by showing that you are prepared to put your moral shoulder to the wheels of principle and philosophy to which you pledged yourself last year.

Yours sincerely

Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP
Leader of the Opposition
House of Commons
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Some thought-provoking words...

from the Daily Mail (Tuesday 13 Aug 2002- UK edition )
by Max Hastings
Among most British people, Robert Mugabe inspires much more anger than Saddam Hussein. Iraq`s leader murders his enemies out of sight. Whatever horrors he is brewing in his secret laboratories and factories, they have not been unleashed upon the world at large. Mugabe, by contrast, terrorises his white subjects under floodlights. Farmers are driven from land they have tilled for decades.
Casual brutality is the nation's staple diet, and heaven knows there is little else to eat. Zimbabwe is sinking into a slough of corruption, starvation and bankruptcy to satisfy the megalomania of one man.
If Tony Blair announced tomorrow that Britain intended to invade Zimbabwe and remove Mugabe from power, I suspect that the news would be far more enthusiastically received than a declaration of war on Saddam Hussein.
Yet, of course, neither Britain nor the United Nations will depose Mugabe. Many miles and the colonial legacy divide us from his crumbling country. His tyranny poses no threat to the outside world. His victims are his own people.
For all the sentiment expended upon Zimbabwe`s white farmers, most people in Britain recognise that their fate was sealed more than two decades ago when black majority rule came to the former Rhodesia. Since 1980 it has merely been a question of how long the dwindling number of Rhodesians could stick it.
After the bitterness of the civil war there never seemed a realistic prospect that a multi-racial society would survive for long. For 100 years, the white man lorded it in old Rhodesia. Now a black tyranny does so.
The remaining whites will be driven out of Mugabes`s Zimbabwe. The wise ones will leave while they still have the skin on their backs. Just or unjust, that is reality.
I would go further and suggest that the game is up for the white man throughout Africa. It does not matter whether this is a good or bad thing - it represents the tide of history.
For four centuries, white immigrants and their decendants have pitched camp in Africa. "We belong here. We are as much Africans as any of Mugabe`s war veterans" a Zimbabwean farmer will say.
Yet, in the eyes of Africa this is not true. The white man is always the alien, the outsider, the former ruler whose very competence is a painful embarrassment even to the most educated black Africans. However much those Zimbabweans, or their South African counterparts, love the countries in which they live, few black Africans will today acknowledge that the white man belongs among them. He is perceived as a leftover from the past, flotsam drifting on the beach of history.
The remaining whites will not be driven out in a single dramatic purge. Over the next 30 years, they will simply be prodded, frightened and squeezed until they slip away piecemeal, as the children of a good many friends of mine has already done.
In a succession of lurches and surges, Africa is reverting to a dark continent.
Over the past 40 years, since the colonial powers began to depart, all the world's efforts to provide advice and aid have been frustrated by cultural resistance, lack of education, population explosion and above all, corruption on a vast scale.
Many Western nations suffer from political corruption. But they are rich enough, and the corruption modest enough, for their economies and political systems to co-exist with it. Across Africa, however, rulers have systematically stripped national treasuries of their wealth. It was recently estimated that 95 billion Pounds has been illegally removed from the continent by national rulers since the colonial powers departed. No society can prosper amid corruption on this scale.
We take for granted the honesty of our judges, accountants - yes even after Enron - banks and bureaucrats. Honesty is not only the best policy, it is indespensable if any economic system is to prosper. In Africa, the only wholly successful modern industry is the theft of cash from businesses, aid funds, government coffers, utilities, mines, wildlife charities etc.
In the days when I travelled in Africa a lot, an old hand in Nairobi explained a few home truths to me. "In this society, if you don`t use power to enrich yourself and your family you are not merely behaving foolishly, you are thought to be acting wickedly" he said. "There is absolutely no understanding here of the ideal of the community, of people at large. There is only the family, the tribe and yourself."
There are a few exceptions such as Nelson Mandela. But for most of the continent, that cynical piece of wisdom is as true today as it was 20 years ago.
Almost every African state is governed solely in the interest of its ruling clique. National bankruptcy does nothing to diminish a bottomless appetite for first-class travel and absurdly pretentious embassies abroad. Look at the roll call in London alone - some of the most expensive real estate in the capital is occupied by the diplomatic missions of some of the poorest countries of the world: Malawi in Grovener Street, Tanzania in Hartford Street, Zambia in Palace Gate, Zimbabwe in the Strand.
By almost every economic measure Africa has gone backwards, not forwards, since the 1960`s. Three years ago Bill Clinton toured the continent and delivered a series of supremely cynical speeches, proclaiming that the West would henceforward be coming to Africa`s aid. It sounded like rubbish then and it is rubbish now. The West has no intention of bailing out Africa, even if Blair has surges of compassion for the place.
Donors are tired of giving cash of which only a smidgen reaches the people for whom it is intended. Food deliveries to starving people will continue, but these do nothing to salvage collapsing economies.----The end of the Cold War means that no great power feels a need to buy influence there. For many years, African leaders bitterly denounced "imperialist interference" in their countries. Today, they are learning that international indifference is far more painful.
For most of Africa`s people the future looks even grimmer than the past. Aids is ravaging populations. The statisticians expect its consequences to grow much worse before they get better. The influential American academic Phillip Bobbitt, in his recent book Shield of the Achilles, observed that he sees only misery ahead for Africans in the 21st century, as disease, famine and corruption relentlessly assail them.
There was a vivid moment a couple of years ago during the first stage of the British intervention to support the struggling government of Sierra Leone. Its prime minister asked a visiting British politician, in the presence of journalists, if it might be possible for his country to become part of the British Empire again. Most of those present believed that the Leonese leader was serious. The problems of African societies are so huge, so deep- rooted, that the few honest and decent politicians despair. They grasp at any straw to rescue their countries. It is a tragic spectacle and few experts see a way out.
When the West does intervene in any African society, it is essential to stay for at least 10 years or more to have any hope of making lasting progress. The Americans failed miserably in Somalia a decade ago, because they treated it as a short term problem. The British Army training team in Sierra Leone has done a good job, but the lasting need is for civil assistance - to teach people to collect taxes, administer courts and run infrastructure projects. We are talking, of course, about something embarrassingly close to neo-colonialism. Many Africans would be delighted if there was more of it about. But political obstacles remain overwhelming, the imperial memory too fresh.
Almost every Western attempt to help Africa founders, sooner or later, amid the morass of political prejudice and cultural division. Zimbabwe`s remaining whites farm the land incomparably more efficiently than their black counterparts. But this makes their presence more intolerable, not less so, to the likes of Mugabe.
The big fib, propagated at the time of African independence, was that local people wanted the right to vote. Not so. They scarcely cared a fig for ballots, most of which were soon rigged anyway. They wanted the land, cars, houses, swimming pools of their erstwhile white rulers. They still want these things, in Zimbabwe and South Africa generally.
Sooner or later, most African leaders find it expedient to hand over the white men`s toys to their own people, without all the bother of explaining that these things should be won through education, skills, enterprise, and hard labour over generations.
I was never a supporter of Ian Smith`s Rhodesia, which was founded on a huge injustice to the blacks, and sustained by cruelties as horrible as those of Mugabe today. White minority rule in South Africa was a loathsome thing. Thank God it has gone. But it remains a tragedy to see black-ruled Africa sinking into the swamp of history.
Outsiders can do little to save it from itself as long as it remains a continent of tyrants, and democracy is making no headway at all. There is one striking oddity about Africa`s misery today: passions remain entirely internally directed. Whereas in the Middle East resentment of the rich West spawns terrorism and active hostility, above all towards the USA, even Mugabe`s denunciations of Blair lack conviction.
Africa`s rulers are overwhelmingly preoccupied with their personal cravings for wealth. Their subjects merely struggle to survive. Some observers believe that this may change as the power of Islam grows across the continent. The influence of the Moslem religion may generate a new assertiveness, even aggression, a decade or two onwards.
For now however, African passion focuses exclusively upon their own societies, and upon futile thrashings to make some brand of authoritarian Socialism blossom amid the failling crops.
You may have noticed that even as more and more whites are obliged to quit Africa, growing numbers of black Africans seek to migrate to Europe and the United States - refugees from the economic catastrophies their own rulers have created at home. On every plane that bears sorrowing whites away from the continent of their birth into exile in Europe or Australia, there are also many seats occupied by departing blacks who are just as much victims. It is a bitter historic irony.
I believe that the remaining whites will continue to trickle away from Africa until there are only a handful of communities left between Cairo and The Cape. Then the white outside world may notice less, and care less, what happens to the continent because we shall perceive no kin there. Africa`s story will have become an exclusive black disaster.
Well there you have it.
It is sad but true, history repeats itself!
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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 23 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.


·      Reports mainly centre on the arrest, detention and release of farmers throughout the country.


All names have been removed for farmer safety
Middle Save - Two of the court cases heard in Harare, had the Section 8 overturned. 

Burma Valley – farmer A was released from jail on Wednesday 21 August with bail of ZW$6,000.  He is not allowed to return to his farm and his case was remanded until 14th September.  Farmer B went to report to the Police on 19.08.02 with all his correspondence.  He was arrested and kept overnight.  He appeared before the Magistrate on 20.08.02 and was released on bail of ZW$5,000.  He is not allowed to return to his farm and his case will be heard on 17.09.02.

Mutare – Farmer C was released on 21.08.02 on bail of $10,000.  He is allowed to return to his house, which has not had any section notices, but where his workers were on the property next door, in receipt of a Section 8, the workers were moved.  Farmer D, arrested on 17.08.02, was released on $5,000 bail on 20.08.02.  He is not allowed back to his farm, although his family and workers are allowed to continue on the farm.  Farmer was told to report to the Courts by Penhalonga Police on 21.08.02 for not complying with his Section 8. His bail conditions are unclear so he is not returning to the farm.

New section 8's were handed out during this last week.

Odzi – farmer F appeared before the Magistrate on 17.08.02 and given bail of $10,000 and remanded until 21.08.02.  When she appeared before the Magistrate on 21.08.02, it was shown she was living in her house that had not had a section 8 but she must discuss with the Lands Committee about the grading of her Tobacco.  Farmer G, arrested on 16.08.02, was kept overnight and appeared before the Magistrate on 17.08.02.  Farmer G had been associated with the wrong farm so there was no case against him.

Nyazura – Farmer H  was arrested on 21.08.02 and appeared before the Magistrate.  He had signed LA3 and LA5 forms since 29 July 2002 but was not allowed to present those in court.  He was given ZW$20,000 bail and is not allowed to return to his farm.  Several of the farmers in the Nyazura area have had to report to the Police Station and show their relevant papers.  They have then been asked to sign warned and cautioned statements.

Rusape - Farmers are being asked to report to the Police Station and sign warned and cautioned statements.  Since 22.08.02 all has been quiet.

Headlands – six farmers  were all released on bail and were told not to return to their farms.  Their cases will be heard on 03.08.02.  Some farmers are now receiving new Section 8's.

Rusape – Farmer J has been away: he is now trying to settle things with the police.  Otherwise all has settled down.

No report received.

No report received.

No report received.

Norton - On Idaho Farm three police officers with guns and two other people also with guns arrived late at night with Mavis Chidzonga.  Accusations of vandalism were made against the owner regarding an armoured cable being joined.  The intimidation also led to half the workforce sleeping in the bush.  Mavis Chidzonga's employees also kicked in the door of the grading shed.  On Daisy Farm the recently widowed owner had to move off as a result of Mr Madzima moving into her house.  Mr Madzima is apparently the personnel manager at Hunyani and the Norton Mayor.  The owner had to put her cats down.  The workers were stopped from using water and there have been threats they should move off the property.  On Sunnyside it appears Reuben Barwe from ZBC has a house.  On Mapleleafthe elderly owner was imprisoned for three nights regarding his Section 8.  He was not initially given bail due to higher orders coming from above the officer-in-charge and magistrate.  Eventually he was given bail but is not allowed back on his only farm or in his only home.  Air Vice Marshall Perence Shiri has been on his farm on numerous occasions.  On Rock farm there are reports that since the owner moved off the labour are assaulted and evicted from their homes.  On Fort Martin Farm the former Tobacco Grower Of The Year and owner who offered this farm to government many months ago has to date seen the compensation committee 27 times and made 125 telephone calls regarding compensation.  He has still not received any compensation.

Selous - Twelve farmers were arrested regarding Section 8's.  The bail conditions do not allow them to carry on working or to return to the farms.  A number of them have Wheat in the ground.  For ten of these farmers it is their only farm and their only home.  On Mount Carmel Farm a vehicle with a spotlight was busy shooting wildlife at night.  Three farmers have moved everything off their properties.  On Violets Vale farm four men broke into the owners house in the owners absence.  One of them appears to be a policeman in police uniform.  Fortunately the owner’s son was alerted whilst they were in the middle of looting and chased them off. 

Chegutu - Six farmers were arrested regarding Section 8's, with four of them spending two nights in prison and two of them spending one night in prison.  For the first night blankets were not allowed.  Included amongst those arrested was a man of 82 years old whose crutches were taken away from him by the police.  There was also a lady of 72 years of age.  Mr Chipambira was pleased to see that the owner of Burnbank was arrested, as he wants the farm for himself.  The bail conditions do not allow these farmers to go back to their farms, or to continue irrigating their Wheat, milk their dairy cattle etc.  One dairy cow has since been slaughtered on one property due to the owner not allowed to return.  Three of these farmers had offered land to Government. 

Chakari - On Newbiggin Farm the owner of Specks Hotel in Kadoma, Mr Chiutsi, told the owner that he would be "forced to use force" if he could not move into the owners house.  Simbarashe Ncube, who is the chief Agritex officer for Chakari, is the recipient of the other house on Newbiggin, and all the drip irrigation equipment.  The owner has had to move out.  On Blackmorvale Farm the owner was wrongfully arrested and put in prison for two nights.  He was not allowed to bring blankets.  The chairman of the settlers, Simbarashe Moyo has not allowed any irrigation on the citrus, which is currently at flowering stage.  55 hectares is in serious jeopardy of being lost.  Nobody in the Chakari area is currently allowed to farm.  On Tawstock Farm M.P Ziyambi wants to turn off the water to the workers.  The owner’s house appears to have also been moved into. 

Kadoma/Battlefields - On Coryton police tried to arrest the owners relative in the second house as the owner is away.  On Eiffel Blue the owners' son was wrongfully arrested on a mining claim and spent two nights in prison along with the owner of Lanteglos Their cell was three metres by two metres and there were eleven of them crowded in there.  They had to take turns squatting over the overfull toilet in the corner of the cell so that they could take turns having some space to "sleep".  In Battlefields there was one farmer arrested who spent two nights in jail.  He was not even living on his section 8 farm.  The bail conditions have all been similar at $5000.00, with farmers not allowed back to their farms.  Three other farmers have also been through the courts and given the same conditions.  On Pamene Farm the owner’s house as well as his two sons houses were broken into, and one of the looters was found drunk on the floor when they went there the next day. On Crogh-na-Ra Farm where the owner is not under a Section 8 but has been stopped from farming for some time anyway, "war vets" and others from Alabama  and surrounding farms where the owners have been illegally evicted through Superintendent Makaza, a large mob gathered on two occasions during the week.  Mr Shumba from the Lands Committee and police told the owner they could not guarantee his safety, and they recommended he move out of his house.  He has been given until 24.08.02 to do so.  On Railway Farm 5 police, C.I.O, Support Unit, Lands Committee, army and settlers evicted the owner, and have taken over his 300-hectare winter cereal crop.  This was his only farm shared with his father and brother.

Detailed daily reports have been received from this region.  The following is a précis:


Chiredzi - The issue of Section 8s has been dealt with in a manner that can only be described as professional. Dispol, Chiredzi called farmers into the station. All farmers called in were told to sign cautioned and warned statements and sent away home. Dispol told the farmers that ZRP would contact them when they had to then appear in Court.  Information received indicates seven Cane Farmers were told to report to the Police Station.

Two farmers were called in, but when they produced their Court Papers they were left alone. However it has been established Dispol is under immense pressure to detain farmers.  On Singisi Ranch a "war vet" settler known as Magumire appeared in the owner’s cane land and proceeded to slash nine tyres and chase out all the cane cutters with the threat that if the owner continued to cut the cane belonging to Magumire he would burn the cane completely.  The rest of the Chiredzi District especially in the ranching area has been quiet with no threats to any arrests pertaining to Section 8. ZRP are very busy with anti poaching exercises in the Northern Section of Chiredzi River Conservancy.

Mwenezi – three farmers were detained.

Police arrived to arrest the owner of Battlefields Ranch.  Due to health reasons he was not arrested, but requested to report to the Mwenezi Police Station to be formally charged on the afternoon of 18.08.02 so he would then appear in court the following morning. Police vehicles used in making the arrest broke down on the roads. One farmer who was arrested around 11.00 hrs on 17.08.02 only arrived at Mwenezi Police Station around 22.00 hrs after it had to be towed in by a National Parks vehicle. The owner was left in the charge office while Police officials apparently fell asleep and only locked in the cells at 04.00 hrs on 18.08.02. The Police cells toilet was overflowing and farmers were not able to eat in this restricted area with the deadly stench.  A farmer close to the Police Station asked to repair the toilet, but was told it would be repaired Monday or Tuesday. He has kindly hired someone to repair the toilet immediately.  The following properties have also been visited by Police to make arrest, but owners were not available.

Malumba Ranch Sheba Ranch, Lot 21 A Ranch (Swanscoe Ranch , Threeways Safari Ranch) and Valley Ranch he owner of Marcon Ranch reports that A2 Settler Mr. Mutembi told him to remove all the cattle from the farm. He is bringing in 300 head from Nyika Growth Point.  He also told him to replace a borehole and piping. Owner is not allowed to hunt on the property and A2 Settler has placed two guards at the entrance to the farm, one of which is armed with a .303 rifle. It has also been established the A2 Settler has already shot a giraffe and wounded an Eland.

Chatsworth / Gutu – the Makanya Farm owner was arrested early on the morning of 17.08.02 and taken to Mvuma Police Station. He was asked to sign a cautioned and warned statement and then released. He is back on the farm. In the early afternoon four farmers were arrested. One, in his 70’s, was arrested while in bed suffering from an illness and a high temperature. His son tried to plea for him to sign a cautioned and warned statement at the Chatsworth Police Station, to appear at the Police Station on 19.08.02. The officer on duty was aware of the illness and sympathetic to the pleas made. However he was not in a position to make the decision. The Officer in Charge was called in and only responded around 22.00 hrs on the following evening. He was in no mood to listen to anybody and responded by issuing instructions the ill man be detained till Monday morning.  The other three farmers were detained at the Gutu Police Station. On Saturday night there was only three blankets for 10 detainees at Gutu  police Station. The three farmers were not allowed their own blankets, jacket or jersey. All 3 farmers  sat up for the night. Because of the extreme smell of urine one farmer eventually asked for a bottle of Dettol to disinfect the area. They sat with their handkerchiefs covering their noses and faces. On Sunday evening they were allowed blankets.

Masvingo – the 64-year-old owner of Dromore Farm was arrested on 16.08.02 at 16.30 hrs, along with the lessee of another farm. Both were taken to Masvingo Rural. The latter was released after it was established there was an anomalies on the Section 8. He was told that this would be investigated. Early morning on 17.08.02, the 83-year-old owner of Shallock Park Farm. was arrested. He was detained at the Masvingo Central Rural Police Station.  Early evening of Friday 16th August 2002 Police also visited two other properties. Both owners had conceded to Government. Both have already received compensation from Government. One of the two reported to the Police Station Masvingo Rural on Saturday producing a letter signed by the Chief Lands Officer giving the owner permission to stay in the homestead until the end of September 2002. When the owner produced this letter he was detained until this letter could be verified. He was held together with the other two farmers. A magistrate was arranged for a bail hearing. All three waited until about 15.00 hrs. It was then established that a meeting took place to determine the fate of the three farmers. Both the District Administrator and the Chief Lands Officer clearly stated in front of witnesses that the three detained farmers were not supposed to be detained. The outcome of the meeting was that the farmer with the letter was released to go home and the other two were kept in detention until 19.08.02. the Ibeka Farm owner was detained 17.08.02 in the morning and subsequently released after intervention of the District Administrator proving that he had vacated the property. He however had a labourer guarding equipment. He is now officially been evicted off the property.  On two occasions two farmers taken into Masvingo Rural had the "war vet" named Muzenda accompanying the Police. Despite a light not working in the cell both farmers in detention have mattresses and blankets as well as mosquito repellent provided by family members. They were alone in a cell but were allowed visitors. They were also allowed food and had been given permission to make use of the Police Staff toilets. A doctor has also checked both. One farmer suffers from High Blood Pressure.


Mwenezi - Bail conditions for four farmers were all set at $10 000.00, the farmers allowed to return “to their place of abode”.  Court Dates which are set for 18.09.02.  three farmers were arrested on 19.08.02, one of whom refused to pay bail and was due to appear in Court 20.08.02. His passport has also been confiscated. He is a South African National and holds authority within South Africa. The lawyer representing the Mwenezi farmers has arranged that the same bail conditions be set for all those farmers that are still to come in. eight farmers were due to report in the afternoon of 20.08.02.  Reports coming in state all farmers were well treated: they have not been hand cuffed, but rather made to “hold hands” when going into Court.  Only the Dispol Minor has been hostile.

Beit Bridge - On the weekend of 16.08.02, one farmer and two farm managers were arrested and detained for the weekend until 19.08.02.  the farmer was held in custody on behalf of his brother who owns a property in Biet Bridge. On this property his brother has six cattle remaining out of 600.  Police informed him that because he was a Director of the company he would be held until the whereabouts of his brother was ascertained.  Bail conditions were set at $5000.00.  All three were not allowed to return to their farms.  On 19.08.02 two other farmers  went to hand themselves into the Biet Bridge Police. The Dispol Minor would not allow them to make statements and said it could be done the following morning.  he detained both members overnight claiming that they would “jump the border” even though both men did not have their passports on them.  They then signed warned and cautioned statements on 20.08.02.

Chiredzi - On the weekend of 16.08.02 five farmers were charged and bail conditions set at $5000.00.  All were remanded out of custody and all were not allowed back onto their farms without Police escorts to pack up their belongings.  A Court Date was set for 02.09.02.  A new directive was issued by the District Administrator, Chiredzi, that all farmers should stop cutting cane on the A2 Settlers blocks.  A farmer representing the members met with three A2 Settlers and a CIO representative who informs him they are not happy with the situation. The Bangala Ranch owner was visited by Inspector Phiri and told to be off his property by the end of this month.  The Mungwezi Ranch owner’s Section 8 expired 19.08.02. Owner has stopped all farming, stopped anti poaching unit, withdrawn his cattle and has begun the 45-day period to vacate his property. This has and will in turn affect other neighbours around him. The Sebanani Ranch (Boet Van Aarde) owner, a neighbour, has the same situation whereby his Section 8 has also expired.

Gutu / Chatsworth - the Makanya Farm owner appeared in Court 20.08.02 and has been released on Mr Erasmus was in Court this morning and the outcome was as follows:

$5000.00 bail and the stipulation he was not allowed to return to the following properties: Kanya Farm, Blackwood Farm, Sondagsfontein Farm, and Chamamvura Farm. He is allowed to travel through Kanya Farm to get to his homestead on Makanya Farm.  His Court Date has been set for the 2nd September 2002.  He was asked by a CIO Official why he still had over 2000 head of cattle still on his property. Of the four farmers detained over the weekend, one had his case withdrawn and was released.  At Court on 19.08.02, the other three had bail set at .

$5000.00, and each was given two days to move off the property. Court Dates set were for 27.09.02.  On 19.08.02, two farmers. went to the Chatsworth Police Station to hand themselves in. They were made to wait the whole day and told to return on the morning of 20.08.02.   The owner of Rossal farm was visited late at night on 19.08.02 by “unidentified people” and told that he was to tell his farm workers to vacate their houses in the farm village as soon as possible as “they” had need of the village.

Masvingo East and Central - The two farmers detained over the weekend appeared in Court on 19.08.02, with the following bail conditions: $5000.00 to be paid by each farmer.  One was given two days to pack his belongings and move off the property, and the other was given three days to pack his belongings and move off the property.  Both were then not allowed to return to the farms until after the Court dates set for 27.09.02.  Police assistance was given to both farmers to move off the property.


Gutu / Chatsworth – the two farmers who handed themselves in were remanded out of custody on $5000.00 bail with no other conditions. Court dates were set for07.10.02.  The Condor A Farm owner reported at lunchtime he was visited by settlers who made demands they would like to take up residence of his homestead immediately.  Owner notified the Police, who were very slow to react. Settlers eventually dispersed. The matter was taken up with Propol, Masvingo who said that should they return he should be contacted and he would deal with the situation.

Mwenezi – of 11 farmers and farm managers who reported to the Police Station on 20.08.02, three farm managers were released and a farm owner, the latter due to never receiving a Section 8 Order.  The remainder were remanded on $10 000.00 bail, with Court Dates set for 19.09.02.  They are allowed to return to their farms until they go to Court.


Chiredzi – five farmers appeared before the Magistrate 21.08.02 to appeal against their bail conditions.  Bail conditions were asked to be set aside as “fresh facts” had been placed before the Magistrate. The Magistrate appeared willing to relent and understood facts placed before her. In the sixteen hours wait before the decision came through it appears she was put under immense “political pressure” and told the lawyer that he had “adopted the wrong procedure”. The lawyer questioned her about the farmers being allowed to return to their farms and noted that the bail conditions set did not amount to a “legal eviction”. She then repeated three times over in front of the Chiredzi DA that this was correct and “this was not an eviction”.  The owner of Emboneni Estates P/L (Lot 12 of Hippo Valley Estates) had his lawyer able to prove that a Section 5 notice had not been served on the bondholder and therefore the Section 8 Order that followed was invalid. He was not charged.

Mwenezi – three farmers were expected to report into the Police station.  The owner of Nandice Ranch reported to the Police on 21.08.02 and remanded out of custody with $10 000.00 bail and Court Dates set for 18.09.02.

Gutu / Chatsworth – the owner of Blyth Farm has completed his packing and moving to Harare.  The owner of Wragley Farm has completed packing and is also moving.  The owner of Condor A completed his packing late Wednesday evening. He proceeded to the Police Station where Police officials demanded he hand over his homestead keys, which he refused. Heated debate followed and finally the Chief of Lands, Mr. Masanu informed the Police through phone calls that the keys were to be handed over to the Lands Officer representative for the Gutu Area.  The owner of Willand Farm has also completed packing and moved into town.  At E.F.P.Vosloo , three heifers were slaughtered by settlers during these last few days.  At Nuwejaar Farm two heifers in calf were stolen the night of 21.08.02.


Reports began coming in to the Midlands office of farmers being picked up for questioning by the Police in connection with continuation/occupation of their farms after the maturation of their Section 8 orders.

The following farms were affected:

Gweru - Farmer A a dairy farmer in the Gweru East area was picked up at about 11.00 a.m. questioned and eventually released from the Gweru Central Charge Office at about 4.30 p.m. following intervention from the Governor’s office.  Farmer B a dairy and cattle farmer, also from Gweru East, was picked up at about 12.00 p.m. and also questioned and released from the Gweru Central Charge Office at about 4.30 p.m. after the Governor’s intervention. Farmer C , a crop farmer near Guinea Fowl was visited and required to report at the Gweru Central Charge Office. He was also questioned and released but was required to produce documentation on his delisting application. He has not been detained but there is a problem with the District Administrator. Farmer D, a cattle farmer from Somabhula, and his brother were visited by the police in regard to documented evidence concerning their land offers. The latter has been cleared but the former is still to produce his documentation. Neither of them was detained.

Kwekwe – Farmer E was required to attend a District Land committee meeting where it appears that he has satisfied their expectations In respect to his small farm.  Farmer F’s case looks to be in order but will be considered for clearance by the DLC on Monday.

Mvuma – Farmer G, a cattle rancher, was picked up by the Mvuma Police on Saturday morning and brought in to answer questions and make a statement regarding the continued use of his section 8 properties. He was not detained but returned the same day. 


Four of the farmers rounded up over the weekend appeared in Court on 19.08.02 and were released on bail of $10 000. . A hearing date has been set for 30.09.02. A condition of bail was that they may not contact the District Land Committee. All four were permitted to return to their farms. The remaining farmers in the Region, who have had Section 8 Orders served on them, are expected to be visited by the Police in due course.

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Zim police: 277 farmers arrested

Harare - Zimbabwean police have arrested a total of 277 white farmers since the start of a crackdown on those defying a deadline to leave their land to make way for new black farmers, police said Saturday.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told AFP the latest figure dated from Friday afternoon. He could not say how many farmers were still in custody this weekend.

The government had ordered 2 900 white farmers to leave their homes by August 8, but about 60 percent of them ignored the demand.

Many of those arrested over the last 10 days have been released on bail, according to farmers' groups.

This week the United States criticised President Robert Mugabe's government, accusing it of a "land grab" that it said was sure to exacerbate Zimbabwe's current food crisis.

Aid agencies estimate that at least half the population will soon need food aid.

But Mugabe struck back at his critics, accusing the United States and other western critics of a racist campaign to undermine his country's independence. - Sapa-AFP

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UK support for Zim neighbours in balance?

London - Britain's environment secretary Margaret Beckett resisted pressure on Friday from the opposition Conservatives to make Zimbabwe an issue at the UN Earth Summit in Johannesburg.

In a BBC radio interview, Beckett said it was "singularly unlikely" that Prime Minister Tony Blair and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe would shake hands at the summit, dedicated to sustainable development.

But she added: "We are certainly determined to make sure that the issue of the summit and its potential to do good isn't hijacked by issues, by concerns such as those about Zimbabwe."

In a letter on Thursday to Blair, Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith challenged the Labour prime minister to boycott Mugabe in protest over Zimbabwe's controversial land reform programme.

Blair and Mugabe are scheduled take the podium at the 10-day summit on September 2 within about an hour of each other.

"I believe you should boycott the Mugabe address," Duncan Smith wrote. "You could not possibly share a platform with someone who seeks to humiliate our country and place British citizens at great risk."

Britain, the former colonial power in Zimbabwe, has been at the forefront of EU and Commonwealth sanctions - including a travel ban on dozens of key officials - aimed at isolating Mugabe's government.

Many white landowners in Zimbabwe are British nationals.

The Conservatives' foreign affairs critic Michael Ancram, also speaking on BBC radio on Friday, said Zimbabwe's land reforms were no different from ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Blair, he said, should "point out that you can't talk about sustainable development at an Earth summit when next door there is a man who is deliberately taking land out of production, starving his people".

"I think if his (Mugabe's) neighbours in southern Africa, along with the rest of the international community, came together to put pressure on him, he would have to pay attention," he added.

In his letter, Duncan Smith encouraged Blair to warn the summit that Britain's continued support for African nations "could depend on their actions to restore good governance in Zimbabwe."

"Robert Mugabe and his illegitimate government are wreaking havoc in a country that was the bread basket of southern Africa," Duncan Smith said.

Around 100 heads of state and government have indicated they will attend the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, which starts on Monday.

Notably absent will be US President George W Bush, whose government this week said it was working with other nations to encourage democratic change in Zimbabwe, and that it no longer considered Mugabe to be the "legitimate" leader of the country. - Sapa-AFP

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Daily Telegraph

Evicted couple adjusts to new life in Zimbabwe

August 24, 2002


HARARE, Zimbabwe--Eva and John Matthews, evicted from their home by President Robert Mugabe's wife, Grace, sold their last cattle Friday and found hardly any takers.

At a video auction at a Harare hotel, Eva Matthews, 73, said: "It was a depressing sale. We got virtually nothing. I couldn't put a reserve on, because I have nowhere to put them."

The Matthewses fled their farm in the lush Mazowe Valley a week ago, when Grace Mugabe and an entourage arrived. They were threatened with arrest if they did not leave.

Their home, a half-hour's drive from the Mugabes' official residence, has teak floors and doors and 29 rooms, including a billiard room and a library.

The couple are now trying to adjust to a tiny apartment in Harare.

"She [Grace Mugabe] is getting a wonderful home with everything," said Eva Matthews. "We cannot get to bed now because there are boxes in the way. The flat is sweet, but so small."

John Matthews, 78, a former British air force pilot, said the immediate problem was returning to pay off 15 workers, who also expect to be evicted.

"We were hoping for a good sale today. We need to pay the gratuities, and that runs into millions [of Zimbabwe dollars]," he said.

The sale of 135 cattle raised about $55,000, about a third of which is expected to go to their staff, leaving the Matthews with the rest to rebuild their lives.

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The Times of India

New Zimbabwe Cabinet may toughen land reform programme

AFP [ SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2002  5:38:01 PM ]

HARARE: Speculation was growing in Zimbabwe on Saturday as to whether a new cabinet to be named this weekend by President Robert Mugabe will take a tougher approach on his controversial land reform programme.

Mugabe announced the dissolution of his cabinet on Friday and was said to be working on the composition of a new government to be announced this weekend, state ZBC radio said.
"The composition of the actual Cabinet is, however, a closely guarded secret and current ministers and those aspiring to serve in Cabinet will spend an anxious weekend," said the official daily, The Herald.
The new line-up, to be sworn in on Monday, will come five months after Mugabe's disputed re-election in March.

Legal experts said Mugabe, who this month has faced mounting international criticism over the eviction of white farmers, should have appointed a new cabinet soon after his inauguration.
At least one farmer has mounted a court challenge questioning the legitimacy of the serving agriculture minister who issued his eviction order.

Newspapers in Harare suggested that Mugabe would opt for hardline members to back him and his government amid increasing international isolation.
But some analysts suggested Mugabe might be looking at creating a more internationally acceptable government.

The Herald recalled that Mugabe commented on the resignation of former Industry and International Trade minister, Nkosana Moyo last year, by saying he did not want to work with those who are "weak-kneed".
"President Mugabe is on record as saying cowards have no place in Cabinet and that those who do not have the spine should resign," the Herald added.

The privately owned Daily News said: "Mugabe is widely expected to retain his faith in combative ministers and non-constituency MPs (Justice Minister Patrick) Chinamasa and Jonathan Moyo, the minister of state for information and publicity in the President's Office.

"It remains to be seen whether Mugabe will retain faith in (Lands Minister Joseph) Made," whose ministry has presided over the controversial land redistribution programme, the paper said.
It said Mugabe was also expected to retire his two elderly vice-presidents, Joseph Msika and Simon Muzenda, both 79.

The newspaper also pointed to mounting local speculation over a possible ouster of Finance Minister Simba Makoni, who has "tried unsuccessfully to advise the President to chart a different economic course".
However, political analysts contacted by AFP suggested that Mugabe's choice of new cabinet members could reflect a desire to court local and international favour.

University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer Masipula Sithole said Mugabe might even want to get the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party on board his government.
The MDC's leader, Morgan Tsvangirai lost to Mugabe in closely contested presidential elections in March, whose result the MDC has rejected, and which most western observers declared as deeply flawed.
"He (Mugabe) knows that people will suspect him to have cheated in the election, and incorporating the MDC would be his way of making amends," said Sithole. But he ruled out any chance of such an offer being accepted by the MDC.

"In their perception and mine, these are the last days of a dying horse," he said. "They (the MDC) don't want to resuscitate a dying horse."

Brian Raftopoulos, a research fellow with the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, however said that Mugabe wanted to consolidate his position, given that a question mark still hung over his electoral victory.

He said Mugabe faced "so much uncertainty" and Friday's dissolution of his cabinet showed he wanted to "line up people to consolidate his position if he stepped down."

But he also said that the 78-year old president, having "broken the back" of his
political opponents -- the country's white farming minority -- now had to "look beyond the immediate issues."

This might include winning donor aid for his controversial land reform programme, which desperately needs financial support if it is to succeed, Raftopoulos said.

Officials from the MDC were not immediately available to comment on Saturday.
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From Business Day (SA), 24 August
Food trucks arrive in Durban

The truck fleet, required to distribute $62-million in food aid to 13 million people facing starvation in Southern Africa, arrived in Durban today, said Iain Logan, disaster operations manager for the World Food Programme. "The 231 trucks, which include long-haul trucks, land cruisers, fuel tankers and mobile repair workshops, arrived on board a ship that docked in Durban," Logan said. He said the fleet had been donated by the Norwegian government and Norwegian Red Cross and would be deployed for food delivery by early September. "The initial allocation, subject to change in response to logistical needs, is Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe," Logan said He said the trucks would remain in Durban for some days to undergo clearance, registration, and radio equipment fitting.
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News release
(On behalf of Justice for Agriculture)

Reports from Mashonaland Central indicate that at least four farmers have
been arrested during the course of Friday 23rd August 2002. One of these, a
female farmer.

Meanwhile an Umvurwi farmer, Mick Marffy of Ealing Farm was on Friday
morning evicted off his property in absentia by a resident war veteran Mrs
Kiriveria Kauredza. Marffy and his family are currently on a trip to

The farm is under as section 8, but Marffy is challenging the order in the
high court due to technical irregularities.

According to Marffy, Kauredza occupied his elderly parents home having given
them 5 hours to pack their belongings and leave. The elderly couple live in
a separate house on the farm.

Said Marffy, “On Thursday Kauredza informed a domestic employee that she was
intending to move into the main house and that the family should remove
their personal belongings. Since my family and I were not present, my wife
called in a removals company to go to the farm and pack up the household

The eviction of the Marffy’s comes a week after Marffy and other Model A2
(commercial resettlement) settlers on the farm had reached an amicable
agreement regarding the sale of farm equipment. Marffy and the settlers had
also agreed that he could move off his farm at the end of September when he
would have properly completed the winding up of his farm affairs.

Marffy continued, “The settlers had asked me if they could have first option
to buy the equipment on the farm and after we had dealt with the details of
the sale, the settlers applied for the money from the Agricultural and
Resettlement Development Authority (ARDA). We also agreed that they would
make their payments during the first week of September and they would give
me until the end of September to complete my operations. However with this
latest development, I am unsure of how to proceed or if the agreements will
be honoured.”

Marffy is currently grading a tobacco crop valued at Z$28 million and has a
Z$1,2 million sweet potato crop in the ground, all of which could be lost
following a work stoppage initiated by Kauredza.

24th August 2002
For more information contact Jenni Williams
Mobile (263) 11 213 885 or 91 300 456
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Reuters Alert
24 Aug 2002
Hunger Taking Toll on Families in Zimbabwe
Lucy Henderson

Logo of Mercy Corps - USA
Mercy Corps - USA
Regions: Africa, Zimbabwe

Mercy Corps Worker in Region Says Food Shortages Have Forced Parents to Reduce Children's Meals

One-by-one mothers gather at a small feeding center in Bakorenhema, Zimbabwe carrying their small children in their arms. They meet every day at the site where their sons and daughters, all under the age of five and all medically underweight for their age, are fed a nutritional supplement mix known as "nutrimeal" that is designed to increase the children's vitamin and mineral intake and to help them to gain weight.

As drought has destroyed crops in the region and food has become scarcer over the past year, these feedings have taken on an even greater importance.

"The mothers I spoke to at the site said that although the food was intended to be supplemental, the children, in fact, would only be eating one more meal that day," said Mercy Corps' Lizzie Christy, who recently visited Bakorenhema as part of a food assessment of Manicaland Province in northeastern Zimbabwe.

"In terms of the overall food security, I found that most of the vulnerable groups in the rural areas are eating just one meal per day, down from the normal three meals they ate before the crisis."

The worst food shortages to hit the region in a decade have left an estimated six million people - half of the country's population - at risk of hunger and hunger-related diseases in Zimbabwe. Across southern Africa, 13 million people are expected to require food assistance over the next six months.

The combination of crippling drought, abject poverty, economic collapse and high rates of HIV/AIDS has devastated communities across southern Africa and led to widespread food shortages, especially in rural areas.

Mercy Corps is urgently accepting private donations to help address the growing food crisis in Zimbabwe. The agency is performing food assessments and working with local partners to determine assistance for vulnerable families.

Christy said that during her assessment trip she saw evidence that the food shortage are starting to have an effect on families in Manicaland Province.

"One man - a potato farmer responsible for 22 family members - told me that the soaring price of maize has meant that he has had to reduce his family's meals from three times a day to twice a day and that they are surviving exclusively on potatoes for food," she said.

Mercy Corps currently runs a school-feeding program in Eritrea. The agency responded to the food crises in Sudan and Ethiopia in the 1980s. In 2000, Mercy Corps sent emergency supplies and medical equipment to assist families in Mozambique displaced by severe flooding.

Donate online to Mercy Corps' relief efforts in southern Africa or:

Mercy Corps
Southern Africa Food Crisis
Dept. W
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208

1-800-852-2100 ext. 250

Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Since 1979, Mercy Corps has provided more than $640 million in aid to 74 nations. The agency currently reaches more than 5 million people in over 30 countries. More than 91 percent of the Mercy Corps' resources are allocated to programs that help those in need.

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Bush chickens out - and Gaddafi?

Muammar Gaddafi, an aspiring settler-farmer in Zimbabwe, may spring the summit of all surprises by turning up at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) now that Master George Bush, US president-by-default, will not be turning up for the greatest talk-shop in modern history.

By Friday nobody knew if Gaddafi was going to descend on Jo'burg or not, but Siyahleba is willing to bet a Harare farm that the colonel-turned-king will seize the opportunity to snatch the limelight from Bush, who cancelled his plans because he would have been required to speak, which is not one of his strong points.

Our friendly neighbour, Robert Mugabe, will be coming, if only to irritate Tony Blair, whose principal reasons for smiling all the way to Jozi are to check on the price of land in Zimbabwe and to market his latest designer suit and Earth Summit hairstyle.

After the rise in business in the sex industry, the next best thing that could happen to the summit would be for Gaddafi to roll into Johannesburg, escorted by half the Libyan army and hordes of women bodyguards.

That could be hugely embarrassing for Colin "Uncle Tom" Powell.

"He will suddenly take ill after being ordered home by Master George.

Come, come, let us mount you

Excitement is reaching a climax in the sex industry on the eve of the summit of summits, and prices are rising faster than you could mount a summiteer and gasp "$100".

Sex summiteers are determined to get their fair share of the earth's dwindling resources and even took out a full-page advertisement in a newspaper to advertise their latest range of products.

The pussycat page offered beauty and brains, blondes and blacks, old and young, women and a few men (one with a 9,5 inch you-know-what) to the 60 000 summit idlers, all eager to get a taste of the new democratic rainbow.

Or is it 40 000 or 80 000? - nobody can agree on the figure.

City Press's staffers get paid tomorrow, but they're complaining that they simply can't afford to buy sex anymore - at R1 000 and more for an hour, most will only have an hour of casual sex until next pay day, because prices are not going to come down before then.

Siyahleba urges all sex workers to spare a thought for us: we're human too and also want a share of the world's cake.

The Summit truth - by Thami

"It's 6 pm on Monday, August 26, and here is the news on SAFM read by John Mazwai. Thousands of delegates to the Earth Summit descended on Sandton today for the opening ceremony of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

"Presidents Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe greeted the heads of state of scores of countries as they entered the summit centre.

"For the latest on the proceedings we now cross over to our reporter in Sandton, Bongi Mazwai.

"Hello Bongi, are you there? Bongi  . . . We seem to have lost that line. Sorry, Bongi is back with us. What does Thami say the atmosphere is like in Sandton, Bongi?"

"Well John, Sandton is spotless and peaceful and buzzing with excitement.

"This is truly a proud moment for our rainbow nation, a moment for the world's leaders to see how much we have achieved in Sandton to make their stay a pleasure. And so it is proving to be. There's not a beggar in sight and the sex workers have  . . . "

"Are you there, Bongi. We seem to have lost that line. But yes, everything seems to be going like clockwork in Sandton.

"Some news just in. The police report that a summit delegate lost his wallet in a hotel room after a blonde woman was seen leaving it.

"The police have confiscated a suspicious-looking panty found on the man's bed and are sending it for a forensic inspection.

"Um, uh, sorry, that report is incorrect. We've just been informed that nothing of the sort happened. Now for a commercial break."
   "Looking for objectivity and accuracy in the news? You want to hear it as it is? Then look and listen no further than the SABC, the national broadcaster of South Africa.

"Stay tuned to SAFM, the station for the well-informed. This advertisement was placed by the SABC Board in the interests of objectivity, accuracy and fairness. You'd better believe it."

The Poodle and the Crocodile

Tony Leon and PW "Ngwenya" Botha have a few things in common: both like to order people around and both refuse to apologise for anything because they never make mistakes.

Both would like to be at the summit but are too unimportant to get invitations.

Besides, you can't invite a dead man like PW, who came to life this week to deny he was dead. And Tony will not be there because he's heard that a group of former Apla guerrillas will be demonstrating in Sandton against people whose poodles crap all over public parks.

Sorry gentlemen, we don't mean to pre-judge poodles and crocodiles.

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Sunday Talk:
Times are hard - blame Mugabe
Vusi Mona

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Tony Leon says the markets are punishing our currency because President Thabo Mbeki is not condemning the lawlessness taking place in Zimbabwe.

Leon was quoted in a daily newspaper this week as saying: "The markets advise that our currency is being hit and attacked by mounting concern over Zimbabwe's eviction of white farmers and the absence of condemnation by South African authorities."

He could be right. But is it really that simplistic?

I have a problem with markets that punish currencies for the plight of white people and do not punish anybody for the plight of black people. This selective punishment is just not morally sustainable.

The rand was at its strongest during a period when the suffering of black people in South Africa was at its peak. There was a deafening silence from the markets, notwithstanding that white South Africa collaborated quite clearly in the misery blacks endured.

Who did the markets reward then and who did they punish?

Mbeki's quiet diplomacy on the Zimbabwe issue - even though it has not yielded the expected results - is much better than the silence and collaboration that accompanied the apartheid regime's crimes, and for which the markets did not punish anybody.

I've dabbled in economics at tertiary level and, frankly, there are times when I find the behaviour of financial markets inexplicable. Why punish the currency of a country like SA whose macro-economic policy is said to be sound - just for the sins of Mugabe?

South Africa is not collaborating with Mugabe's crazy land-grab policies; neither is it contemplating following similar policies.

Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni is right in urging the financial markets not to judge SA by what is happening in Zimbabwe.

There are times when I feel there are much deeper problems regarding the attitude of the financial markets to SA than we are made to believe. These problems have to do with racial perceptions and the ignorance of the key role-players in the financial markets.

The Mugabe scapegoat is becoming a bore.

Don't avoid the real issues

While on the topic of Zimbabwe, can anyone tell me what went wrong with Mugabe's appeal when he came into office in 1980 for mutual forgiveness and a commitment to national reconciliation?

An honest answer will help us understand that the simplistic solutions we are looking for - like Mbeki standing on the mountain top and condemning Mugabe - will not help.

The problem in Zimbabwe is economic imbalances and the attitude of white Zimbabweans that they did not have to do anything to correct these. The reconciliation that Mugabe preached when he came into power lulled many white Zimbabweans into a false sense of security. Compounding the problem is the defensive posture many adopted after independence.

I see a similar posture by some white South Africans on several issues - affirmative action, black economic empowerment, and even just being part of national gatherings and celebrations.

This is the truth I had expected from Trevor Ncube, the new owner of the Mail & Guardian, when he advised South Africans to be careful that we do not go down the same route as Zimbabwe. Instead, he warned us about threats to media freedom, which at times I feel are exaggerated.

I don't know if Ncube warned about the complacency of white South Africans and the continuing economic imbalances in our society. For me, that is the grave lesson South Africans must learn from Zimbabwe.

If this country were to implode, it won't be because Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri reportedly wants editorial control of the SABC, or because Mbeki is said to be "Zanufying" the ANC. It will be because of unemployment and continuing economic disparities.

It is worrying to see the real issues being pushed to the periphery. Perhaps we are uncomfortable, at the level of ideas, with issues that could lead to tension and conflict.

Yet this avoidance of the real issues is what could in the end lead to violent confrontation. It has happened next door.

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