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

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Sokwanele Press Release 25 August


The time is ALWAYS right to do what is Right.

Martin Luther King


Council Elections

As the day of the City Council elections grows nearer, campaigning is starting to pick up.  The MDC held a rally at White City Stadium which was sanctioned by the police.  Almost 3000 people attended, which in itself is remarkable as Council elections are usually marked by apathy.  ZanuPF seem to have given up campaigning as they realize they have little or no chance of winning in any of the constituencies.


For those of you who have difficulty in understanding why there is no money.

The real meaning of " worth peanuts "  has been explained by mugabe!



Cane Growers Resort to Violence Under ZanuPf Ringleaders

On the 15 August a group of A2 settlers led by the Engineer of the Regional Water Authority, Christmas Nyathi (ID No 58-040168N-80), a purported relative to Patrick Chinamassa, K. Kanda (ID No. 63- 450311d-13), S. K. Gumbo (ID No. 22-024849C-27) and Moses Chiengwa. 


On the morning of the 15 August the above thugs collected around forty zanupf men, women and children who accompanied them on a visit to several cane farms.  There the regime’s puppets threatened commercial farmers with violence unless they retracted their opposition to the interpleader that hippo Valley Estates initiated to solve their problem on who to pay for the cane.


They assaulted Mr. and Mrs. Boris Fayd’herbe of farm 24, who have since laid complaints against the ring leaders.


The police were called in and managed to prevent any further attacks.  But they were unable to disband the attackers so the police consequently accompanied the hostile crowd to the rest of the cane farms.


This all follows a confrontation between the management of Hippo Valley Estates and the A2’s regarding cane payments last week. Hippo management maintained that they were abiding by the law and that it was now up to the cane growers to resolve their case. This statement threw the problem straight onto the shoulders of the cane growers.

The Chiredzi police were commended by the Chiredzi community who hope that charges will be laid against the ring leaders of this latest violence.

"Let it never be asked of any of us - what did we do when we knew

 another was oppressed"  Nelson Mandela


Victoria Falls

Fuel Supplies
This tourist town has had petrol deliveries for 3 months and diesel for more than 2 months. The whole town has given up queuing. Black market fuel is available through various sources from $1200.00 a litre.

Most tour operators cross over to Botswana to fill their vehicles. Botswana (Kasane) is running out of fuel on a weekly basis as they now supply Vic Falls and Livingstone and are naturally very unhappy about this.

New rules for carrying for Zimbabweans carrying fuel over the Bots border are being put in place - they were charging P130.00 to take jerry cans over - they are now talking about banning it altogether

Cash Availability
There is no cash. People are selling cash for between 15% and 25%. Money changing adds to the cash shortage and in the last week it has become a big problem for tourists to change money. The rate US$ to Z$ has dropped to 1900 for cash over the last week-end.
Banks and building societies are limiting withdrawals to $5000 and there are people out side the banks trying to buy cash before you bank it.
Mayoral Elections
The MDC candidate has been accepted and the elections are set for 30th August. The electoral committee has been visiting the suburbs telling people their rights, handing out pamphlets and encouraging people to check if they are on the voters roll and to register. The office in Charge ZRP has stated that he will not tolerate any violence or intimidation from either party.



"All that is necessary for EVIL to prevail is for GOOD people to do NOTHING"

Edmund Burk


A Submission to The Sunday Tribune:  Opinion


The extent of the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe has been under-estimated by many South Africans.  Although the media continues to highlight Mugabe's repressive strategies and his government's stated objective of ethnic cleansing, the South African government has confused the issue by playing down its northern neighbour's suffering. 

However, during this latest trip south I sense a far greater level of concern and an awareness of the very real influence that events in Zimbabwe will have on this country's future.   

Those not yet convinced about the abilities of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) question whether the future alongside a Zimbabwe under new management will be any different.  Information about the MDC appears too sketchy to generate adequate confidence. 

The MDC has massive popular support countrywide and is presenting the ruling Zanu PF party with the first real challenge in 23 years to its rule. This period been characterised by gross mismanagement driven by the ruling elite's insatiable appetite for power. 

To retain power and ensure unlimited access to the nation's wealth, all opposition had to be eliminated.  During the 1980s the first government-orchestrated programme of genocide and tribal cleansing took place in Matabeleland.  In excess of 20 000 Ndebele people were killed and entire families were burnt alive in their huts.  

This strategy effectively silenced ZAPU, a tribally-based hindrance to the government's master plan hatched in the 1970s. A similar strategy was adopted following the election scare of June 2000 when the fledgling MDC fell just short of the mark, despite fraud and intimidation on a huge scale.  

Since then, ethnic and political cleansing has resulted in a catastrophic upheaval in the farming community where 2,5 million Zimbabweans lived. Perceived to be MDC supporters, most are now destitute or dispossessed of their constitutionally protected property.  

The situation rivals Kosovo.  Hundreds have been murdered by state agents and hundreds of thousands of human rights abuses - from rape and torture to imprisonment without trial - have been documented internationally. The economy is in free fall and imploding rapidly; chaos prevails in virtually every sector of society. Civil liberties have been largely extinguished and it is a jailable offence to discuss politics in a group of more than two people.  

Despite these repressive laws and the threat of detention and torture, the ranks of activists swell daily.  People stand together:  coloured alongside black and white, Ndebele and Shona, rich and poor. There is common and real belief that the goal of freedom will be achieved, and that the process is now unstoppable.

The MDC represents a very diverse grouping drawn together across every divide from race, religion and income group, by the call to save their country.   Mugabe has achieved the unprecedented racial and tribal unity by pitting the government against its own people.  This unity is one of the MDC's many strengths and one the illegitimate government fears most. 

Led largely by intellectuals, the MDC is headed by Morgan Tsvangirai, a trade unionist and a home-grown man who has come through the ranks, a representative Zimbabwean who understands both ends of the human spectrum.  

In his union days, Tsvangirai won the respect of business executives and his presence was felt by all around the negotiating table and in the boardroom.  He is someone with whom the international community has the confidence to deal and communicate on the very serious issues of rebuilding and running the country. 

Tsvangirai is a disciplinarian who commands a well-qualified team of the country's best experts, from economics to law.  His exceptional leadership skills have earned him recognition as the president in waiting:  a competent, honest and honourable successor to Mugabe. 

Tsvangirai has the capacity to inspire and ignite the deepest feelings in an otherwise battered and demoralised people.  This ability was demonstrated when he addressed students at the University of Cape Town and economic and political exiles in Trafalgar Square, many of whom were reduced to tears at the prospect of being welcomed home.  Tsvangirai prefers not to read prepared speeches but to speak from the heart, a laudable personal trait. 

South Africans should not under-estimate Tsvangirai. He has grown in stature and confidence, avoiding the pitfalls of many of his ego-driven counterparts in politics.  Here is a man who has survived at least three attempts on his life and the murder of his driver, yet he soldiers on, quietly determined and confident in his objective to bring back dignity to his country and its people.  

He is a leader who publicly accepts that temptations of office have to be kept in check by independent watch dogs. His proposed constitution will reduce the powers of the president to ceremonial status, thereby handing back authority to parliament and the people.  

South Africa can gain much encouragement from the MDC and its manifesto.  It is an organisation built on legal and humanitarian principles that offers a progressive, business friendly-democracy.  

The MDC has the ear and support of the world's major democracies and economic powerhouses.  With this comes the promise of substantial funds for reconstruction.

Economic and political watchdogs know that the success or failure of Zimbabwe to overcome the madness of Mugabe will determine the outcome for the rest of southern Africa.   

This is a watershed period that South Africa should not ignore.  In the global context, South Africa and Zimbabwe are inseparable and billions of dollars of investment have been withheld due to the turmoil north of the Limpopo. President Mbeki cannot afford to send negative signals to the rest of the world. President Bush has placed on his shoulders the responsibility to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis - and he will be held accountable.

For the brave people of Zimbabwe who dare to confront one of the most horrendous and despicable regimes of this century, the balance of power has shifted inexorably and the tide has turned.  We urge South Africans to continue applying pressure to expedite change.  Despite our pain and suffering, Zimbabweans are determined to complete the victory.

“they are finished!”


Stand firm, Stand together!!



Visit the Zvakwana website:-

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Mail and Guardian

The long and dreary wait for cash in Zimbabwe


      26 August 2003 07:54

Four weeks after Zimbabwe introduced a range of measures aimed at ending an
unprecedented shortage of local bank notes, the situation has not improved,
banking officials said on Monday.

Queues at bank counters and cash machines grew even longer as workers tried
to cash their pay cheques to pay monthly bills.

"The cash situation is still the same, it's still in short supply," said one
cashier inside a banking hall crowded with restive clients.

"We have even reduced our maximum allowance today to enable everyone to get
something from the little cash we have," he said.

Zimbabwe is in its fourth month of a local cash crunch attributed to
hyperinflationary conditions, a growing foreign exchange parallel market and
lack of confidence in the system that have led to higher demand for cash and

The government has imposed a series of measures in a desperate bid to help
ease the shortage.

On July 29 the government tried to persuade individuals and retailers to
deposit cash with banks when it announced that it would phase out the
current 500 Zimbabwean dollar note in circulation by end of September and
replace it with a new one of similar value.

A week later, it introduced local travellers' cheques as legal tender,
hoping to ease the cash crisis that has gripped the southern African country
since April.

But the travellers' cheques faced resistance because of their inflexibility,
according to banking officials.

On Sunday a new law banning the holding of more than five-million Zimbabwean
dollars (US$6 250) in local bank notes by institutions and individuals came
into effect.

But there has not been any marked improvement in the cash crisis.

For above-average earners who can operate a chequing account, the cash
shortages have forced them to turn to using their cards and cheques -- which
takes longer than cash transactions.

But the lower-earning majority without chequing accounts are forced to rely
on cash for their daily transactions. They are the majority found in cash

"It looks as if we are at a political rally," quipped a woman who had been
queueing at a cash machine since 6am on Monday. By midday no cash had been
dispensed because the bank was waiting for cash deposits to feed notes into
the machine.

Every street corner where there is a banking hall or a cash machine was
crowded with visibly tired people.

"I have been coming here every day since last week. My landlord wants his
rent and he will not take anything but cash," said Anthony Phiri, a factory

Banks are restricting the amount of cash that a client can withdraw in a
day, and by Monday some banks had again slashed the maximum limit of 10 000
Zimbabwean dollars (US$12 50) by half.

A loaf of bread costs about 1 000 Zimbabwe dollars (US$1,25) while a
kilogramme of meat sells for about 5 000 Zimbabwe dollars (US$6 25). -
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Interpress News Agency

Gov't Stifles Critical Voices in the Media

Wilson Johwa

BULAWAYO, Aug 30 (IPS) - No sooner had it made its debut in May that
musician Leonard Zhakata's latest album disappeared from the airwaves.

Entitled 'Hodho' (early shot gun), the album was banned from radio because
of its focus on the political gridlock and economic hardships prevailing in
Zimbabwe. Thus it joined the list of other creative works which the
government has found too critical for comfort.

The country's political and economic decline has been well-documented by the
small but vibrant independent press. Musicians and other artists, on the
other hand, have been less successful in speaking out.

The answer partially lies in the lack of alternative radio and television

Zimbabwe is just about the only country in Southern Africa with no
independent radio or television stations. The state broadcaster, the
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), still enjoys a monopoly inherited
from the colonial regime at independence 23 years ago.

Moreover, since 2000 the ZBC has been on a major restructuring exercise to
entrench its monopoly position hence its vision, ”the first and permanent
media choice for every Zimbabwean.”

This lack of other outlets has left artists subject to the manipulation of
the government.

The fact that by law Zimbabwean radio and television channels are obliged to
devote 75 percent of their air time to local productions has given
politically-correct musicians exposure which often translates into healthy

Critical voices, on the other hand, are shut out and have to endure the
consequences of no publicity.

Even Cont Mhlanga, the outspoken head of Amakhosi Theatre Productions, the
country's biggest and most successful community theatre group, has lately
been accused of working with the ruling party, while agreeing to water down
some of his productions for airing on ZBC.

He maintains, however, that the lack of an independent outlet is what gives
audiences the impression that his group is not speaking out against the many
ills and hardships in Zimbabwean society.

”We are always protesting, we've always been protesting, the difference is
just the form of media,” says Mhlanga.

”Until people come to the theatre, only then will they get access to our
work,” Mhlanga says. ”Every other avenue - TV, radio, everything - is

Since its founding as a township outfit in the early 1980s, Amakhosi's plays
have never been popular with the state broadcaster.

The most controversial play, which caused a storm back in 1986, was
'Workshop Negative'.

The production was the first to critically challenge the government,
pointing out double standards in the state's declared Marxist agenda. It
exposed the sham of the ideology in Zimbabwe where senior government
officials preached socialism while they amassed wealth.

Among Amakhosi's major plays, 'Workshop Negative' was followed by 'Cry
Sililo' in 1988 which was on the plight of the worker.

'Stitsha', a 1989 production, raised the issue of land and 'Dabulap' in 1990
criticised the government's failure to create employment opportunities for
the youth resulting in them trekking to neighbouring countries, where they
caused much discomfort.

All these plays were not shown on television. The only exception was a
production on anti-tribalism since this theme was in line with the
government's agenda.

Mhlanga, who has been the main playwright at Amakhosi, says he is presently
not working on any new plays but is waiting for a new political order before
he can pick up his pen again.

”Everything that is happening I spoke about 15 years ago in my plays, I've
written it,” he says. ”So what is that I'm going to write now?”

However, one musician who has refused to be silenced is Thomas Mapfumo.

Mapfumo is one of Zimbabwe's oldest and most popular musicians. His music
blends traditional 'Shona mbira' music with western instruments and a
political message replete with traditional metaphors.

During the liberation struggle, the characteristic protest streak in his
music captured the mood of the times and endeared him to the black masses.
Three years before independence in 1977, Mapfumo was imprisoned for 90 days
because of his song 'Hokoyo' (Watch Out).

Even after independence Mapfumo has remained consistent, fearlessly speaking
his mind.

Many of his other songs remain banned from Zimbabwean radio, including his
1988 tune 'Corruption', which ridiculed 'corruption in the society'; and
'Disaster', a 1999 song that similarly railed against graft and corruption.

Mapfumo's 'Chimurenga' or 'liberation' music still makes him one of the
country's top-selling musicians, although he is now based in the United
States from where he emerges in December each year to give a sell-out show.

His emigration coincided with the release of his album, 'Chimurenga
Explosion' which features several critical songs including the explosive
'Mamvemve' ('Tatters'). Even coming from Mapfumo, this particular track was
too direct for the liking of Zimbabwe's political mandarins and hence was
banned from the airwaves.

Apart from the albums 'Chimurenga Explosion' and 'Chimurenga Rebel', Mapfumo
has since had his latest, 'Toyi Toyi' (which means protest) banned. But he
cannot be too worried as they are available on the market, even though they
enjoy no airplay at all.

Other Zimbabwean performers, though, are not so well-established as to
thrive without access to radio or TV.

Artists in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, recently joined hands with the
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe), an advocacy group, in
its campaign to lobby government into establishing independent radio
stations in the country.

Pathisa Nyathi, who heads the artists' interim steering committee, says the
idea is to create a platform for artists to look at issues of common
concern, including pushing for the liberalisation of the airwaves.

But Mhlanga, whose group wanted to set up a culture radio station but was
turned down by the government in 1998, says MISA's approach is ”shallow”. He
says there is no point in pushing for alternative channels when the
recipients of licences would be controlled by the system -- since they would
have no technical capacity of their own.

He feels MISA should concentrate on building the capacity of the prospective
broadcasters and artists in terms of both the technical aspects and
developing content ”so that even other channels in the world can show it”
and it can make its way back into the country.

Meanwhile, in the city centre, scores of youth crowd the ninth floor lobby
of Radio Dialogue for a chance to record their music.

This is the only thing they can do since the two-year-old radio station does
not yet have a broadcasting license which it hopes to get when the
government is ready.

However, its officials know they have to wait a long time. Towards the end
of 2000 the government announced its desire to open up the airwaves on a
three-tier basis that included public service broadcasting, commercial
broadcasting and community broadcasting.

”We are not very confident of getting a licence at the moment with the
situation that is prevailing in this country at the moment,” says Radio
Dialogue administrator Kudzai Kwangwari. ”What we hope is that things will
change and when things are different hopefully that's when we'll get a

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MDC threatens mass action if talks don't resume
August 26, 2003, 07:22 AM

Zimbabwe's main opposition has again threatened mass action against the
government of President Robert Mugabe if they do not return to talks soon.
Morgan Tsvangirai, the Movement of Democratic Change leader, says they have
given the government one month to resume talks on the political and economic

Inter-party dialogue with the ruling Zanu-PF broke down last year. The
ruling party has yet to make its position known regarding the resumption of

At the same time, 13 Southern African heads of state at a SADC meeting in
Tanzania have also urged the Zimbabwean government to return to talks. The
Southern African Development Community backed Mugabe's controversial land
reform and called for an end to sanctions against Zimbabwe. The sanctions
were imposed against Mugabe and his inner circle over the effects of the
violent land redistribution programme and the 2002 presidential elections,
which were largely condemned as fraudulent.
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Daily News

      Police torch 1 000 homes

      MASVINGO – The police yesterday torched homes belonging to about 1 000
resettled farmers at Windcrest Farm near Masvingo city, which has allegedly
been purchased by a Foreign Affairs employee.

      Property believed to be worth more than $100 million was destroyed in
the pre-dawn raids, which began on Sunday morning.

      According to government officials and resettled farmers who spoke to
the Daily News yesterday, Windcrest Farm was invaded in 2000 at the height
of land occupations spearheaded by war veterans and other supporters of the
ruling ZANU PF.

      The occupiers were officially allocated the land in August 2001, when
the Masvingo provincial lands committee demarcated individual plots for the
new farmers.

      Government officials said the property, formerly owned by Magid Khan,
was acquired by the state and officially demarcated for the settlers.

      But the resettled farmers said they were told to leave the property
last week because it had been bought by a Mr Mukumba, who is believed to be
an employee at Zimbabwe’s High Commission in London.

      When they failed to vacate the property, the police moved in and set
fire to huts and other property belonging to the new farmers, including
several tonnes of food, furniture and clothing.

      When the Daily News visited the farm yesterday, there was a heavy
police presence and government trucks were ferrying the villagers from the
farm to their original homes. Several dejected settlers sat beside the
smouldering remains of their former homes.

      Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday said he was not aware of
the evictions.

      He, however, said when people were evicted from properties, the police
’s only role was to assist the provincial land committee.

      Masvingo provincial administrator Alphonse Chikurira, who is also a
member of the provincial lands committee, said the evictions were sanctioned
by the government.

      He said: "According to the land policy, it is illegal to occupy or
invade a farm owned by a black man."

      On why the government was evicting the settlers when it had
regularised their settlement, Chikurira would only say: "These people were
advised to move out because the farm now belongs to Mr Mukumba.

      "If their homes were torched, then it is unfortunate because we
normally do not encourage that. It is our policy that people should be
removed peacefully and no property should be burnt."

      The wife of the new owner, who identified herself only as Mrs Mukumba
and who is already occupying the farmhouse, said her family bought the farm
"long back" and the resettled farmers could not remain on the property.

      She insisted: "We did not grab this farm. We bought it and I see no
reason why these invaders are crying foul."

      Martin Maziofa, one of the affected settlers, who said he had lost
property worth millions of dollars and $75 000 in cash, told the Daily News
yesterday: "I have nothing to eat since I lost two tonnes of maize when my
property was set on fire.

      "We are currently sleeping in the open, but we were allocated these
plots by the government. It is surprising to hear that this farm has been
bought by a black man when we have stayed here for three years. The
government is insensitive to our plight."

      Another settler, Nelson Mutakayi, said the government had also not
given the settlers time to remove their property from the farm.

      Mutakayi said: "Some of the affected people have already left the
farm. We are not happy with the government’s action to evict us and we
suspect this could be corruption of the highest order. "We have lost all our
property. We took over this farm when it was owned by Mr Khan and the
government later gave us these plots. Now we do not know where this Mukumba
came from and at what stage he bought the property when we had already
occupied it." Other affected farmers said they were being forced to leave
their cattle and other beasts behind because they were not given time to
gather them from pastures. A farmer who spoke on condition of anonymity
said: "We are not amused by the way we have been treated by these people. It
is now clear that we are going to leave our cattle behind because the
government has only offered transport to ferry us. As for our domestic
animals, we do not know what to do." The government has taken over
white-owned land in what it says is part of a programme to redress colonial
imbalances. The programme is supposed to benefit landless black peasants and
aspiring black commercial farmers. But reports indicate that many of the
prime properties taken over under the resettlement programme have been
allocated to government and ruling party officials. In some cases, resettled
farmers are said to have been turfed out to make way for government
officials and their families. Agricultural experts say most landless
Zimbabweans have not benefited from the land reform programme, and have
remained in areas that are mostly not suitable for farming. From Energy Bara
and Godfrey Mutimba

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Daily News

      20 000 voters improperly registered, alleges MDC

        NEARLY 20 000 people have been improperly registered as voters for
this week’s urban council and parliamentary by-elections, while another 1
700 who voted last year and in 2000 are missing from the voters’ roll,
according to figures released by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

      MDC director of elections Remus Makuwaza said the 1 700 voters whose
names were missing from the voters’ roll were discovered in Harare Central
constituency alone. The missing people voted in the June 2000 parliamentary
elections and last year’s presidential poll.

      Among those whose names are missing from the Harare Central roll are
Susan Tsvangirai, the wife of MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Harare city
councillors and former Harare Central Member of Parliament Mike Auret, who
resigned due to ill-health.

      Polls will be held in the constituency this weekend because of Auret’s

      "There has been a deliberate attempt to disenfranchise those voters
perceived to be MDC supporters and they have been replaced by ghost voters,"
Makuwaza alleged.

      "The major reason why they have removed some names is that the RG
(Registrar-General)’s Office wants to maintain the number of registered
voters in the respective constituencies by replacing genuine voters with
ghost voters.

      "We have copied these irregularities to the Electoral Supervisory
Commission (ESC) and to our lawyers."

      Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede was yesterday unavailable for comment
because he was said to be out of the office, but ESC spokesman Thomas Bvuma
denied that the organisation had received the MDC’s complaint.

      "The ESC has not received any such reports and complaints and as such
is not in a position to make comments on that," he said.

      But Makuwaza insisted that the opposition party had communicated with
the ESC and had not received a response.

      He told the Daily News: "We have discovered that about 4 000 people
have been improperly registered to vote in the Mutare mayoral election,
about 3 000 voters in Gwanda, nearly 7 000 people on the Makonde voters’
roll and about 6 000 ghost voters on the Gweru voters’ roll. This number can
rise once we complete our audit, but this is what we have discovered."

      He said there were several "ghost" voters whose residential addresses
were unclear, while others had been placed on voters’ rolls in
constituencies and wards outside their residential areas.

      Murisi Zwizwai, the MDC candidate for Harare Central, yesterday told
the Daily News that the names of prominent people who had previously voted
in the constituency were not appearing on the voters’ roll.

      "It is shocking that the names of people like Mike Auret, the MP who
resigned because of ill-health, do not appear on the voters’ roll," he said.
"The names of Ward 6 councillor Dale Dore, Susan Tsvangirai and even Michael
Laban, the Ward 7 councillor, do not appear on the latest voters’ roll,
which I purchased two weeks ago. There are at least 1 754 names of people,
who voted in the presidential election whose names have suddenly disappeared
for this by-election."

      He said there were about 2 920 people whose addresses were simply
stating that they resided at such places as the Presidential Guard premises,
Tomlinson Depot or Harare Prisons Camp barracks, but no specific residential
details were provided.

      Zwizwai said the MDC held a meeting with an official from the RG’s
office yesterday and raised these issues with the constituency registrar,
identified only as Mhende, but were told that an updated voters’ roll would
be released on Wednesday, three days before polling. Mhende could also not
be reached for comment last night.

      Zwizwai said it was strange that Susan Tsvangirai voted on the same
day as her husband in the March 2002 presidential election and was filmed by
the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation doing so, but her name was now missing
from the voters’ roll.

      By Precious Shumba

      Senior Reporter

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Daily News

      NRZ workers go on strike

        RAIL travellers around the country were yesterday evening left
stranded after workers of the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) went on an
indefinite strike, demanding a 1 000 percent salary increment.

      The country’s rail utility was last night forced to withdraw trains
that daily ply the Harare to Bulawayo and the Harare to Mutare routes. The
parastatal also had to withdraw its evening urban commuter service in Harare
and Bulawayo.

      The strike is also expected to affect businesses that rely on the NRZ
to ferry their goods. The NRZ’s more than 10 000 workers, who are
represented by three unions – the Rail Artisans’ Union, the Railway
Association of Enginemen and the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Workers’ Union – are
demanding salary adjustments of up to 1 000 percent.

      The NRZ management is, however, said to be offering only 70 percent.

      "All the three unions have decided to come up with a common position
against the management as it has failed to agree to our demands for a 1 000
percent increment," a union member told the Daily News.

      "We last received an increment of 70 percent in January, but due to
the inflation and other circumstances on the ground, the 70 percent being
offered by the management does not suit what is happening."

      It was not possible to secure comment from the NRZ management at its
Bulawayo headquarters, where telephones were not being answered yesterday.

      But a sign pasted by NRZ management at the Harare railway station
read: "We apologise that we are unable to offer train services today,
including commuter services. Any inconvenience is sincerely regretted."

      Last night, frustrated commuters could be seen milling around the
Harare railway station as they tried to determine how they would get home or
travel to other cities.

      Workers in Harare have come to rely on the cheap NRZ commuter trains,
which ferry them from the city centre to outlying high-density areas.

      Many long-distance travellers also prefer rail because it is cheaper
than road. Bus companies have been forced to significantly increase their
fares to take into account the high cost of fuel and spare parts.

      "I have been left stranded by the move taken to withdraw the train

      I don’t have extra money to reach to Mutare since I was relying on the
train service because it is cheaper," said an angry Andrew Shamu, who told
the Daily News that he was coming from Chinhoyi.

      Staff Reporter

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Daily News

      Agricultural show off to slow start

        THE 2003 Harare Agricultural Show opened on a low note yesterday,
with organisers saying they expected activity to pick up as the week

      Many stands were unoccupied, with some exhibitors still setting up
their stalls.

      School children yesterday crowded their traditional favourite stands
such as those set up by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the Zimbabwe
Broadcasting Corporation.

      The Hall of Commerce, as well as the home industries, Nelson Mandela
and East End halls, which are usually packed with business people exhibiting
their wares, had low attendance yesterday.

      For the second consecutive year, there were no cattle at the show
because of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, which has impacted on the
country’s exports of beef and other cattle products.

      Zimbabwe Agricultural Society (ZAS) spokesman Robin Taylor was,
however, optimistic that the situation would improve.

      He said: "We have started on a quiet note, but that should be expected
given the prevailing environment. But I hope things will pick up."

      On the empty show stands, Taylor said: "There is nothing we can do as
ZAS, but we wanted all the stands to be occupied.

      Actually, some companies pay for stands and then they decide not to
come, while others just expressed interest in exhibiting, but never showed
up. Such things are common in business."

      This year’s agricultural show comes at a time the farming sector, the
backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy, has been destabilised by land invasions
spearheaded by ruling ZANU PF supporters and a government land reform
programme that is estimated to have cut output by more than half.

      Under the land reform programme, the government has taken over
white-owned land to resettle subsistence farmers and aspiring black
commercial farmers, most of who analysts say do not have the financial and
technical resources to maintain commercial production.

      The resettled farmers have also been hit by serious shortages of
seeds, fertilisers, chemicals and other farming inputs, which are expected
to result in another inadequate harvest next year.

      The drop in farming output has led to food shortages, with 5.5 million
people estimated to be in need of emergency food aid, most of which is being
provided by relief agencies.

      Instability in the agricultural sector has affected industry and
commerce, which rely on the sector for inputs and markets.

      Staff Reporter

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Daily News

      None but ourselves

        TORMENTED Zimbabweans will again face starvation in the 2004-to-2005
period because the government has predictably failed to do basic planning.

      Barely two months before the onset of the main agricultural season,
Zimbabwe does not have fuel or fertiliser, two of the most critically needed
resources – other than land – to ensure successful food production.

      And when the two vital commodities are available, prices -- which
according to the Herald newspaper went up by about 75 percent last month –
are beyond the reach of poor villagers, or as the government calls them,
"new farmers", resettled on farms seized from white commercial producers.

      Needless to mention the thriving black market where unscrupulous
traders levy extortionate prices for fertiliser and fuel.

      And yet the government could, and should have, foreseen the crisis
coming and taken adequate measures to ensure that farmers would be able to
produce enough food for Zimbabwe.

      The foreign currency crisis, the real reason why manufacturing
companies are failing to produce enough fertiliser – because they are unable
to import chemicals and other materials needed to produce the commodity –
has been with us since the government launched this country on the path to
ruin four years ago.

      Galloping inflation, now pegged at an all-time high of 399.5 percent,
should have been another clear indicator to Agriculture Minister Joseph
Made, if he cared, that the price of fertiliser would rise be beyond the
reach of the "new farmers".

      The government should also have ensured that some of the very little
foreign currency trickling into the country was not wasted on trips
attending useless summits and conferences on this or that issue, but was set
aside to pay for fuel for farmers to till the land.

      The basic point is Made and his colleagues should have planned ahead.

      They should have mobilised whatever farming inputs were needed to
ensure the country was able to produce enough food when there was still
ample time to do so, and when prices were much lower than they are now.

      For President Robert Mugabe to be running around to Malaysia and other
places – literally at the eleventh hour – in search of fertiliser, merely
confirms what many Zimbabweans know already: that this country has been
mismanaged to the point of betrayal.

      For the lack of proper planning, Zimbabwe, which faces famine this
year unless donors chip in with 700 000 tonnes of food aid, must endure
hunger again next year and beyond even if the country receives enough rains
in the coming farming season.

      Just like all the other plagues afflicting Zimbabwe, shortages of
local currency, essential medical drugs, electricity and several other
crises could have been prevented only if the government had stopped to think
and plan before acting.

      But more importantly, Zimbabwe could have been saved from collapse if
only Zimbabweans themselves had stood up to the excesses of a power-drunk

      And no one else but Zimbabweans can salvage this once prosperous and
proud nation from further disaster.

      The international community, no matter how well meaning, can only
offer solidarity and support. But the ball is really in the court of every
one of the 11,6 million Zimbabweans.

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Daily News

      Inflation to worsen as money supply growth surges 226 pc

        ZIMBABWE’S annual broad money (M3) growth jumped to 226 percent in
April, up from 161 percent in February, with analysts saying money supply
would continue growing and acting as the major driver of the country’s
demand pull inflation.

      Demand pull inflation occurs when there is an increase in demand that
is not complemented by an increase in production in the economy.

      According to figures presented to Parliament by Finance Minister
Herbert Murerwa last week, annual money supply growth to April was 226
percent, largely on the back of high public sector borrowing requirements
and high quasi-fiscal expenditures.

      Economists said the persistent growth in annual broad money was a
cause for concern because it impacted on the country’s surging inflation
rates. Annual broad money supply comprises narrow money and quasi-money.

      Narrow money represents demand deposits and notes and coins in
circulation, while quasi-money refers to time deposits and other instruments
that cannot be easily converted into cash.

      The amount of notes and coins in circulation jumped from $58.3 billion
in January to $63 billion in February this year, according to the Reserve
Bank of Zimbabwe’s latest economic bulletin.

      Trust Bank Corporation chief economist David Mupamhadze said the
increase in annual broad money at a time production was decreasing would
automatically result in demand pull inflation.

      "The government is adopting a loose monetary policy that does not
effectively maintain money supply growth rates equivalent to the level of
production in the country," he noted.

      "Too much money chasing very few goods results in an automatic
increase in prices to equate the volume of money in the economy to the value
of commodities in the country."

      The concept of too much money chasing few goods is derived from the
use of the equation of exchange in trying to address inflation in countries
such as Zimbabwe.

      MV=PT is the equation of exchange were M represents Money supply, V
velocity of circulation, P price level and T the number of transactions in a
year. Velocity of circulation measures the number of times a single unit of
currency changes hands between economic agents in a given period.

      The equation of exchange predicts that if the amount of money in
circulation doubles, once in equilibrium, the price level will also double,
and that if the amount of money in circulation is reduced by half, the price
level will be about half its former value after all adjustments have taken

      Economic experts said in Zimbabwe, the mutual relationship between
changes in money supply and the level of inflation in the country were being

      The country’s level of inflation is presently 399.5 percent, up from
209 percent at the beginning of the year.

      Annual broad money growth (M3) also shot up from 167.3 percent at the
beginning of the year to 226 percent in April 2003.

      Albert Makoche, an economist at the University of Zimbabwe, said there
was a strong relationship between the level of inflation in the country and
the growth in M3.

      "The government seems to overlook the equation of exchange when
leaving the money supply growing every time and again at the expense of the
skyrocketing inflation," said Makoche.

      He added that it was crucial for the government to accurately monitor
the relationship between the price level and money supply growth to avoid
the persisting upsurge in the country’s inflation rate.

      The government is failing to curb rampant inflation, but is at the
same time suppressing interests rates, resulting in negative returns on the
money market.

      Experts said there was need for a tighter monetary policy to replace
the ruling loose monetary policy that allows for low interest rates at the
expense of crucial savings for economic growth.

      Analysts said far from coming up with a firm monetary policy stance to
curb inflation and restore confidence in the economy, government officials
were issuing conflicting statements on monetary policy. When President
Robert Mugabe opened Parliament last month, he indicated that the government
would use "decisive interventionist policies" in the money market in a bid
to suppress rates. But when Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa presented a
supplementary budget to Parliament last Thursday, he acknowledged that there
was need to curb speculative borrowing and that this would be done by
increasing interest rates. Economists said the government was now in a
policy dilemma and this would create uncertainty in the money market on the
actual direction of interest rates. Mupamhadze said the government should
let interest rates increase gradually instead of suppressing them or
increasing them drastically. He told the Business Daily: "Increasing the
interest rates at a faster rate would result in operational difficulties for
those companies which depend on borrowing. Keeping the rates low will crowd
out crucial domestic savings." He added that it was necessary for the
government to eliminate the prevailing negative real interest rates. The
analysts also warned against the government’s attempts to curb money supply
growth by creating shortages of notes and coins, which they said had serious
repercussions on the economy. Mupamhadze said this would not have long-term
effects because more money substitutes were being introduced. He emphasised
that it was expedient for the government to effectively reduce the growth of
both quasi and narrow money to avoid inflationary effects. By Stanley
Taderera Business Reporter

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Daily News

      Civic society sharks feasting on our misery

        As Zimbabwe burns, a dangerous syndrome, which one can safely
identify with armchair fanatism, lavishly gains momentum.

      If honesty is the most orthodox maxim, then it becomes imperative that
some of us who have created civic society groups should be taken to task for
having misled and misrepresented the ordinary suffering Zimbabwean.

      I hope the same syndrome will not perpetuate its existence to the
younger generation, which is literally at the mercy of the reigning sharks.

      This country has more than 2 000 organisations that have managed to
draw large sums of donor funds on the pretext of advancing democracy,
trampling on each other’s feet in order to be the first to get the
greenback, the strong pound or the euro. If we are to assess the work that
has been done on the ground, then one would wonder how some of these
organisations are able to convince donors of their non-existent

      Personally, I am greatly disturbed that the ordinary citizen remains a
target of so much oppression, yet as watchdogs, civic society groups remain
a voice in the wilderness.

      For how long shall we talk and merely condemn human rights abuses, for
how long shall we sit on the edge without restrategising in order to
actively empower our suffering country? We have done so much in trying to
bring sanity to the establishment and since its ears and eyes are closed,
why can’t we come up with a knock-sense hammer for the sake of the dying
silent majority?

      I am convinced that we have enough funds and enough personnel to turn
the political mayhem.

      There has been enough suffering, enough killing and enough lies. I
urge you, my colleagues in civic society, for once, let us all jump out and
for once forget our Mercs, Camrys, plush offices, designer wear; let us all
forget the luxurious hotels and team up with the suffering majority for
total independence.

      Then, ladies and gentlemen, with satisfaction we can write our reports
and project proposals and earn from honesty.

      Amos Phiri

      Human Rights Activist


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Daily News

      Zimbabweans must learn the art of creative suffering

        IN 1866, the English economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill
said: "No improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great
change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of

      Now, fellow countrymen and women, be reminded that faced with this
hard situation as we are, we should all bear in mind that a snake that does
not shed its skin will die.

      This difficult spell has led to a lot of witch-hunting, calling of
names, finger-pointing and all sorts of things, but will this help us? I,
for one, think this is a time that demands an endless use of mental
resources, bravery, courage, patience, sacrifice, will-power, strong minds
and great hearts. It also demands vision, daring, swiftness and consistency
of decisions, which are the essence of victory.

      According to Brian Adams "difficulties are opportunities to better
things, they are stepping stones to greater experiences."

      And even just like a mine, its purest veins may only reward those who
have the patience to toil for years, whose lamp of faith, no matter how dim
at times, keeps steadily burning until somehow or somewhere the thread of
gold is found.

      Hard times can make people bitter or better. The blacks who were taken
as slaves from this continent to the house of exile (America) were inhumanly
treated there. They were segregated from hospitals, schools, public
transport, restaurants etc. They were not allowed to vote, they were given
less pay for the same jobs. They suffered for many years in silence until
individuals such as William Dubois, Malcolm X and Dr Martin Luther King
Junior spoke out and blacks rebelled against segregation in national public

      This was so because they were willing to pay the price. Many people,
young and old, died in this struggle, including leaders like Dr King. With
this background, it should come as no surprise to us why illustrious people
like Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, the
Williams sisters, Tiger Woods and others have emerged from that society.

      Dr King himself said: "At times life is hard, as hard as crucible
steel. It has its bleak and painful moments. Like the overflowing water in a
river, life has moments of drought and its moments of floods. Like the
ever-changing cycles of the season, life has its soothing warmth of summer
and piercing chill of its winters. But we are able to lift ourselves from
the fatigue of despair to the buoyancy of hope and transform dark and
desolate valleys into the paths of inner peace."

      So, sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, there is no freedom without
responsibility and not all good medicines are sweet. There are facts to be
faced and chores to be done. There are risks, difficulties, compromises and,
of course, innovation is needed.

      Ladies and gentlemen, according to Peter F Drucker: "We have only one
alternative – either to build a functioning society or to see freedom itself
disappear in anarchy and tyranny." We want rain without thunder and
lightning. But does traditional wisdom teach us that it is biologically and
historically true that there can never be birth and growth without pain?

      Now, I call upon all Zimbabweans to learn the art of creative
suffering and the doctrine of strenuous life. The life of toil and effort,
of labour and strife. Let’s all resolve to be brave and honest, to uphold
righteousness in deeds and words, to serve high ideas, yet using practical
means, to do our duty well and manfully.

      Now it is our challenge to bind the nation’s wounds with malice toward
none, charity for all. No democracy will survive where there is social
injustice and economic tyranny. Let us now be devoted to our cause, but also
be attentive to the practical consequences of our actions (responsible
realism). We must learn to live together as brothers or perish as fools.

      According to Marx Welser: "What is possible would never have been
achieved if in this world, people had not repeatedly reached for the
impossible." Just imagine what the Wright brothers went through for you to
be able to fly all over the world today. Imagine what scientists and
researchers went through for you to be able to be cured of malaria, TB and
many other diseases today.

      Imagine what some people went through for you to listen to music,
watch TV or even talk to your loved ones around the globe from the comfort
of your velvet sofas today. How many millions of experiments were needed for
these things to be achieved?

      Brethren and sistren, there is no freeway to the future, no paved
highway from here to tomorrow. There is only wilderness, only uncertain
terrain, no road maps, no signposts. To all you pioneering young men and
women, you have to rely upon vision, a compass and a dream. Greatest rewards
come only from greatest commitment. "Only in growth, reform and change,
paradoxically enough, is true security to be found," Anne Morrow Lindbergy
once said.

      Anyone can sit, but it takes real men to stand up. Any dead fish can
float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream. As Albert
Einstein said: "Hidden to trouble lies the key to our magnificent

      The darkest hour of the night is before dawn. I for one think in the
difficulties and frustrations that face us today and tomorrow, the Zion
train is coming our way. The chaos will be over; children will live not in
darkness. Zimbabweans will unite, for just as it was in the beginning so
shall it be in the end.


      By Maxwell P Kanemanyanga

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25, Aug 2003
New commercial poaching pressures Zimbabwe's rhinos

Harare, Zimbabwe – WWF in collaboration with the Zimbabwean Parks and
Wildlife Management Authority and other conservation agencies, is assisting
in emergency responses to increasing rhino poaching pressures.

Since March 2002, at least sixteen black rhinos and several elephants have
been slaughtered in the Matusadona and Hwange National Parks in northern and
western Zimbabwe. The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has responded
through enhanced patrol efforts, despite crippling shortages of manpower,
fuel and equipment. Four poachers have been killed in recent firefights, and
several have been arrested.

WWF-funded operations enabled the relocation of 22 black rhinos from areas
of high snaring risk to safer areas during 2002. Future operations are
likely to be approved by the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. Other
supporting NGOs, in particular the Marwell Zimbabwe Trust, the Zambezi
Society and the SAVE Foundation of Australia, have helped to deal with the
new crisis of commercial rhino poaching in National Parks.

Over the past three years, at least fifteen black rhinos have died in these
ranching areas as a consequence of indiscriminate snaring, adding to the
ongoing problems of rhino snaring by subsistence poachers in conservancies.
Further problems for Zimbabwe's rhinos arose in June when South African
"sport" hunters were involved in the illegal slaughter of a black rhino in
southern Zimbabwe.

"Prompt action is required by the South African and Zimbabwean authorities
to deal with this recent case and to clamp down on the cross-border hunting
forays by readily identifiable hunting parties,” said Dr. Harrison Kojwang,
Regional Representative for WWF in Southern Africa.

WWF's rhino specialist, Raoul du Toit, adds, “Whereas impoverished
Zimbabweans may claim that they are driven to poaching in order to feed
themselves, relatively wealthy sport hunters from South Africa have no such
excuse – their unethical behaviour is driven by financial interests and by

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Zimbabwe's black rhino population
fell from about 2000 to 370, due to commercial poaching perpetrated mainly
by gangs from across the northern border. Effective conservation measures
then rebuilt the population to about 500.

Recently, Zimbabwe’s deteriorating economy and land disputes have stimulated
poaching for “bushmeat”, and rhinos are being caught in the wire snares.
Unemployment and inflating costs of living are driving more and more
Zimbabweans into informal occupations, including destructive activities such
as uncontrolled gold panning and poaching. The consequent harvesting of
wildlife and other natural resources is proving difficult for state
conservation agencies to regulate. While it is impossible to quantify the
overall loss of wildlife, estimates of 50 to 80 per cent of wildlife being
lost from some former commercial farms, are widely reported.

“The resolution of internal poaching by rural communities is a long-term
issue requiring the evolution of equitable and durable land reform
arrangements within various sectors of Zimbabwe's complicated wildlife
industry,” warned Dr. Kojwang. "WWF stands ready to assist with technical
support in developing these arrangements, which will take a great deal of
effort and a willingness by all stakeholders to negotiate workable and
sensible solutions on an area-by-area basis."

For further information:
WWF – Southern Africa Regional Programme Office
Tel. +263 (0)4 252533

Investigations into the shooting of a young female rhino in a conservancy in
southern Zimbabwe in June 2003 led to the identification of South African
participants in this incident. Some South African hunters are taking
advantage of the unsettled situation in Zimbabwe's rural areas to run
illegal safari hunting operations. Members of this network pay small "trophy
fees" to the occupiers of wildlife properties. They then shoot whatever
animals they can (including elephants) for meat, hides and trophies, which
they market illegally.
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Independent (UK)

Show us the money, please
Many of Zimbabwe's white farmers turned to a British solicitor for help when
their land was repossessed. Now they're regretting it
By Mark Olden
26 August 2003

Three years ago the world's media were transfixed as Robert Mugabe unleashed
war veterans on to Zimbabwe's white-owned commercial farms. Despite all the
attention, the thousands of farmers whose land was seized were powerless:
the full force of the Zimbabwean state was ranged against them, at times to
murderous effect.

But within weeks of the first invasions in February 2000 a glimmer of hope
appeared in the form of a thick-set, ruddy-faced English solicitor. John
Lockwood, then 37 and from Sunderland, had an audacious plan: aided by a
distinguished British legal team he would bring a class action on behalf of
the dispossessed white farmers, claiming financial compensation for their
lost farms from the British Government. The farmers, he stated "would
receive full value for their land...payable to a bank account of their
choice." The case would be based on the historic debt that Britain, the
former colonial power, owed Zimbabwe for land reform.

Lockwood, who had spent time in Zimbabwe in the 1980s, trekked the country
armed with contracts and a letter of instruction from a South Shields law
firm, named McCarron and Smallcombe. He addressed hundreds of evicted
farmers at meetings, outlining his plan and requesting £1,000 downpayment
"for start-up costs" for the action.

Guy Watson-Smith attended a number of Lockwood's meetings. In September 2001
he and his family were forced at gunpoint off their farm 50 miles south of
Harare. The farm was Zimbabwe's single largest producer of tobacco and was
taken over not by the landless, but by Solomon Mujuru, Zimbabwe's former
defence minister and a key figure in the ruling Zanu-PF party hierarchy. "I
heard Lockwood talk about his scheme four times, including at a mass meeting
for farmers in Harare," recalls Watson-Smith, who now lives in South Africa.
"His sales spiel was quite convincing. I didn't sign up, but a lot of
desperate people did."

Among them was "Eric Peterson" (not his real name), who is still in
Zimbabwe. Prior to being chased off his 40,000-acre ranch in early 2001 he
invited Lockwood out to stay in order to assess his credentials.

"I believed he was genuinely trying to establish a mass action. He put his
arguments across to us quite logically. He even claimed to have Lord
Carrington on board," Peterson says. Lord Carrington chaired the 1979
Lancaster House talks that ended Ian Smith's white minority Rhodesian
government and led to Zimbabwe's first democratic elections and independence
in 1980. Convinced, Peterson paid Lockwood $100,000, then the equivalent of

Lockwood claimed that he could resolve the bitterest legacy of Zimbabwe's
colonial past. The issue of land ownership was a major stumbling block at
the Lancaster House talks. Twenty years after independence, the fact that
6,000 white farmers still owned half of Zimbabwe's most arable land, while a
million black peasant families occupied just 38 per cent, was a smouldering
injustice, violently exploited by President Mugabe as he faced the first
serious political challenge of his reign from the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC).

According to Lockwood, the UK - with possible contributions from other donor
countries and organisations such as the World Bank - was legally obliged to
pay the farmers for their seized land. But this obligation was not merely
based on public commitments Britain had made to fund land reform, but on new
evidence Lockwood himself had uncovered. "John Lockwood has unearthed a
number of important documents," his proposal claimed. "The single most
important document which was signed at about the time of the Lancaster House
Agreement incorporates an undertaking by the British government to acquire
commercial farm land for the subsequent transfer to the Zimbabwean

"Initial discussions with the British government have elicited a cautious
response, but the negotiation channels have been established and will be
pursued vigorously," his proposal continued. If no agreement was reached, it
stated, Lockwood and his legal team "would pursue the matter in the British
courts". In September 2000 he lodged a case with the Law Society's
multi-party action group in London. It read: "Currently seeking counsel's
opinion on MPA [multi-party action] regarding very large number of farmers
in action to re-acquire land."

What precisely this "very large number" of farmers is, isn't clear. It could
be as many as 1,400 - as Lockwood told Justice for Agriculture (JAG), a
Zimbabwean farmers' trust - or, more realistically, around 300 - as he told
a number of individual farmers The Independent has spoken to. Either figure
represents considerable business - and compounds the deep unease many in
Zimbabwe now express about Lockwood and his enterprise. For despite a flurry
of early meetings, including one seeking the advice of an eminent QC in
London, three years on there is no discernible progress in the action and
some farmers have sought legal advice in an effort to recover the money they
paid him.

Eric Peterson's doubts hardened after his fourth meeting with Lockwood. "My
lawyer attended and put some pretty sharp questions to him," he says. "He
asked Lockwood to provide documentation to verify how he would account for
the money. Lockwood agreed to provide it within the week. Since this
meeting, nine months ago, he has been uncontactable."

Peterson, along with two other farmers, is considering legal action against
Lockwood. The patience of Zimbabwe's leading farming organisations is also
exhausted. John Worswick, the vice-chairman of JAG, said, "He hasn't turned
up to prearranged meetings, didn't meet our lawyers, never faxed through

Doug Taylor-Freeme, the President of Zimbabwe's Commercial Farmers' Union
(CFU), said: "I don't blame farmers for considering legal action against
him. He certainly has not produced the goods."

Nicholas Atkinson QC provided written advice for Lockwood on the proposed
action in November 2000, but says that he has heard nothing since and has
not been paid for it. McCarron and Smallcombe, the Tyne and Wear solicitors
who previously employed Lockwood, closed in December 2002 - and had already
severed their involvement with him and the proposed multi-party action a
good while earlier.

The Independent tracked down Lockwood to his home in Sunderland, where he
said he was taking a break prior to returning to Zimbabwe. He said that due
to the complexity of the case he was now working on it through his own
company, JAL Legal Consultancy Ltd. "We knew it was going to take a few
years but we didn't expect it to get this big. Initially it was just to help
out a few friends in Zimbabwe then some other people got to hear about it."

Lockwood, whose solicitor's practising certificate expired in February 2002,
declined to say how many farmers had signed up to his venture. He claimed
that those who wished to be kept updated on the action's progress had his
contact details and some had received written updates. Out of the £1,000 the
farmers had paid him, he said that "we end up with £37 per client" after
paying litigation insurance and tax.

Lockwood insisted that Britain was liable to pay for Zimbabwean land reform,
and questioned about the "important documents" from the time of Lancaster
House that he claimed to have "unearthed", said: "You can get that through
[Lord] Carrington's speech [in the House of Lords] last October."

Asked if Lord Carrington was on board, he replied: "I'll put it this way.
One way or another Carrington will be on the stand. He has been approached.
I'll go that far."

Lord Carrington said he was unaware of any of the documents or agreements
that Lockwood claimed to have found and could not recall any contact with
him. "I have no recollection of a separate document, other than that which
was signed at Lancaster House but there was I know, a general agreement in
that we would help out in the acquisition of land. I do not remember a Mr
Lockwood," he said.

The dispossessed farmers are increasingly resigned. "There are a lot of
farmers who are after his [Lockwood's] blood now," said one farmer's wife,
who with her husband signed up to the scheme after they fled their farm. "I
really can't bring myself to phone him ever again."

Another ex-farmer said: "Lots of the people who signed up are now living
abroad. We're very much in the dark and clinging on to the hope that it will
all go ahead."
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ZIMBABWE: Supplementary budget draws criticism


Many Zimbabweans have turned to the informal sector to earn an income

JOHANNESBURG, 25 Aug 2003 (IRIN) - The Zimbabwe government's supplementary budget was unlikely to resuscitate the country's ailing economy, an analyst told IRIN on Monday.

Economist Dennis Nikisi, director of the Graduate School of Management at the University of Zimbabwe, told IRIN that the Zim $700 billion (about US $850 million) supplementary budget introduced on Friday was "a self-serving budget - a damp squib which is not going to assist this economy". The supplementary budget pushed the government's total budget for the year to Zim $1.4 trillion.

Nikisi questioned where the government intended to get the Zim $700 billion from, as the economy continues to contract and inflation is expected to hit 500 percent by the end of the year.

"[Does it mean] we are actually going to create Zim $700 billion from nothing? All it indicates is that we are going to be printing more money, [but] where are we going to get that money when industry and agriculture are not generating anything at all? To make things worse, a very large portion of that budget is actually going towards recurrent expenditure - the increased wage bill for civil servants," he said.

The local Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported that Finance Minister Herbert Murerwa had told parliament on Friday that Zim $311 billion was needed "to meet additional costs of the job evaluation" of civil servants, which resulted in pay increases in July.

Nikisi lamented that "nothing of significance is actually being directed towards the productive sector, [so] we should not expect any fundamental changes in terms of reinvigorating the economy".

He noted that "the majority of our people are unemployed - between 70 and 80 percent".

"Agriculture alone wants Zim $600 billion dollars, but they give it Zim $1 billion [in the supplementary budget]. To make matters worse for agriculture, they do not have equipment and inputs," Nikisi added.

He pointed to recent reports that the soaring costs of agri-inputs were a major impediment to agricultural recovery in Zimbabwe.

The official newspaper, The Herald, reported on Monday that "the price of fertiliser has shot up by varying ranges of up to 75 percent in a third round of price increases this year".

The increases had dealt "a huge blow to farmers, who were battling against rising agri-input costs. The price of fertiliser went up in July by up to 100 percent following a substantial rise in the cost of raw materials", the newspaper said.

Nikisi pointed out that supporting agricultural recovery was critical for an overall recovery in Zimbabwe's economy, adding that "in terms of [a recovery in the] industry, we have just given up".

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