The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
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From BBC Radio 4, 30 July 2002

File on Four

With Grant Ferrett

(Transcript of a programme on BBC Radio 4)


Grant Ferret: Zimbabwe is on the brink of a famine which could engulf six million people – nearly half the population. In spite of restrictions imposed on the BBC by the government in Harare, File on Four has travelled to Zimbabwe and witnessed widespread hunger in towns and cities as well as the countryside. We’ve also discovered disturbing evidence of the manipulation of food distribution at all levels by the government and its supporters, raising uncomfortable questions about how the outside world should respond to appeals for assistance.

Unidentified: "There’s a direct link between the shortage of food and its distribution in a partisan way and the starvation that is already occurring. There will indeed be starvation in Zimbabwe – people are going to die."

GF: In our journey across the country we’ve compiled the most comprehensive first-hand account of the extent of the shortages in Zimbabwe, and of political interference in attempts to alleviate the crisis. As the United Nations appeals for hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, we ask how far can and should the international community go in trying to rescue Zimbabweans from the actions of their own government.


GF: In the remote north-west of Zimbabwe, on the shores of Lake Kariba, church-goers implore God to hear their cries for help. The people here are going hungry. This is an arid corner of the country. The soil is poor. Even in the best of years, it’s a marginal farming area - and this is not the best of years. The rains last season were erratic and the crops have failed. Villagers are reduced to foraging to survive.

Translation of villager speaking in the background: "Right now is nothing but just sitting. Nothing to eat. Yesterday we had some fruits – some wild fruits – but is not yet ripe, so there is no choice but just to eat it raw as it is. We are just hopeful that this issue is resolved quickly, otherwise our kids will die of hunger."

GF: A similar pattern is emerging in much of rural Zimbabwe. With at least six months until the next harvest, families are already struggling to keep going. The very young and the old are the most vulnerable. Anderson Mudimba is nearly 80. He recently lost his eyesight. He and his family live in a crude wooden shelter on a barren windswept plain. They have no income, no animals – and no food.

Translation of Anderson Madimba speaking in the background: "From six o’clock in the morning up to late, no food. We don’t know actually what we shall do or who helps us to have food, because we have waited and waited, no assistance at all which is coming."

GF: Over an open fire, a pot of what looks like thick green porridge is bubbling away. It’s all they have to eat.

Translator: "They normally survive on their staple food – maize. But now there is nothing like that. It’s very hard to come by. So, they’re surviving on leaves."

GF: Leaves?

Translator: "Leaves. They’re surviving on leaves."

GF: Can this family remember when it’s been this bad before - in this area? When was it last like this?

Translation of Anderson Madimba speaking in the background: "He is saying he was born in 1923. Since he was born he has never come across such a situation in his life. Even before this country was independent, he was actually living a happier life than what he is experiencing now."

GF: International aid programmes are in place to help people like Anderson Mudimba and his family. They were due to receive food several weeks ago from one of the local partners of the UN World Food Programme. But the delivery was stopped at the last minute by government supporters calling themselves war veterans. They accused Anderson of backing the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, or MDC.

Translator: "The war veterans blocked it. They are saying only the war veterans should be given this food, because the war veterans believe the food comes from overseas, that it comes from the whites, the whites which support the MDC. So they believe they are coming here to campaign for MDC. That’s their belief."

GF: The opposition says supporters of the ruling party, Zanu PF, are waging a campaign of retribution in the wake of the closely-fought presidential election in March. Robert Mugabe was returned to power, but only after sustained violence and allegations of vote-rigging. Anderson Mudimba’s local opposition MP, Jealous Sansole, says government food supplies are being used as a weapon in the campaign.

Jealous Sansole: "They are mostly using food to intimidate people. Each time there is distribution of food, they tell people that all those who belong to MDC, they are not capable of having that meal because that food belongs to Zanu PF. You have to have a Zanu PF card for you to have food."

GF: This evidence of political interference in the distribution of food, and the blocking of some food aid, creates a dilemma for agencies such as the World Food Programme, the WFP. Can they operate in Zimbabwe without becoming entangled in president Mugabe’s struggle to stay in power? The WFP’s regional director, Judith Lewis, insists they can.

Judith Lewis: "We’ve been very clear with the government that we will monitor our food, we will not have any political interference. In fact, we’ve issued a zero-tolerance policy for any interference from anyone in terms of targeting, in terms of criteria for beneficiaries. But in situations where our implementing partners have been threatened in any manner, we are prepared to suspend distribution. We’ve had less than a dozen instances since we have started our food distributions in February and we have gone through and shut down every one of the operations to check the details, go to the site, discuss with the people who are responsible for the distribution, to be sure that our food is in fact being distributed to the poorest people and the most vulnerable people in Zimbabwe."

GF: But if there’s a family which is existing on leaves, and isn’t getting food aid because it’s blocked by government supporters, surely it suggests that something’s going seriously wrong here?"

Judith Lewis: "That’s not acceptable. I’m going to check this out immediately to see what the problem is."

GF: Because of the ban on BBC journalists travelling into Zimbabwe, we were unable to speak to a government spokesman inside the country. Our requests for an interview with Zimbabwe’s High Commission in London, and the Embassy to the European Union, were turned down. But we did manage to contact the ruling party’s foreign affairs spokesman, Didymus Mutasa, by phone. On a poor quality line from Harare he denied categorically that there was any political interference in the relief effort, but added that aid agencies such as the World Food Programme must work at the direction of Zanu PF.

Didymus Mutasa: "If they want to give anything, they should give it through the government. Yes, why not. There is no international government of Zimbabwe, there is only a Zanu PF government of Zimbabwe, and that has got the right to do what it thinks fit to be done for Zimbabweans."

GF: The World Food Programme said that one of the problems of operating in Zimbabwe was that the government wanted to control at every single level, the aid effort.

Didymus Mutasa: "What’s wrong about that? Surely if the World Food Aid Programme is to succeed here in Zimbabwe, and if the officials want it to succeed, then they should come and be told what to do by the government."

GF: In spite of the ruling party’s assertions, File on Four’s investigations in Zimbabwe suggest that political manipulation of food is commonplace. One of the worst affected areas is the rural district of Binga, which registered the biggest vote for the opposition during the presidential election. For the past two months, the local church organisation was prevented from running a feeding programme for more than twenty-five thousand schoolchildren.

Here at the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Binga, there are the vehicles – I can see at least seven or eight of them here – which are intended to deliver food. Just across the way there is a small hut which contains a hundred tons of food aid which should be distributed to children in the region. But, government supporters – so-called war veterans – are preventing the food from being distributed. They say that if these trucks leave the compound here, they’ll be burnt.

With its workers threatened and its compound blockaded, the Catholic Commission was understandably cautious in its public comments. One of its workers did speak to us on the condition that we didn’t identify him for fear of attack by war veterans who support the government.

CCJP worker: "The war vets don’t want us to distribute food to the communities. They came to our offices and camped outside the gates, watching every movement that we make."

GF: So, you have vehicles here, and you have food here, and you have the organisation to provide food for thousands of children, but you’re being stopped by war veterans?"

CCJP worker: "Yes, we have food, we have one hundred and fifteen tons of food that is stocked in our warehouse at the moment, and we have enough vehicles and personnel to distribute this food."

GF: The project serves a dual purpose – providing a guaranteed meal each day for children, while also encouraging them to attend school. We went to one of the schools affected, an hour’s drive from the nearest tarred road. The sparsely furnished collection of single-storey buildings has few desks or books. Teachers, who were too frightened to be named, told me the withdrawal of food aid had an immediate effect.

Teacher 1: "Most of the children are pulling out of this school - because of hunger."

GF: And what about the children who do come? How are they?

Teacher 1: "They don’t concentrate. They are weak, and they are always complaining of hunger. They also talk about that there is nothing at home to eat."

Teacher 2: "After breaktime, you find concentration is really a problem. They don’t faint as such, but they will be sleepy, which really show signs of hunger. You can’t learn on an empty stomach. You can only concentrate if you’ve had enough."

GF: According to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, the interruption of its feeding programme caused not just hunger but death.

CCJP worker: "Recently we got information that three children died after having eaten poisonous roots because of the desperate situation. And we also have received reports from the hospital that twenty seven children have died of malnutrition-related diseases. For us it is sad, especially when we have food around and we have people who are starving in the communities, but the war vets won’t allow us to distribute the food there."

GF: Within the last few days, the school feeding programme has resumed. But the manipulation of food in Binga extends beyond the sole scheme. War veterans wearing Zanu PF T-shirts have insisted on accompanying deliveries by one international agency. Three shops belonging to opposition officials have been looted of food and destroyed. George Shire, a Zimbabwean academic based in London with long-standing links to the ruling party, blames the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace for causing the problems in Binga.

George Shire: "The Catholic Institute of Justice is seen by ordinary people in Zimbabwe as part and parcel of the opposition. That will explain the tension between these agencies and the ordinary people."

GF: This project has vehicles, it has personnel, and it has over a hundred tons of food rotting inside the compound because war veterans won’t allow them out. Surely that’s indefensible?

George Shire: "It is defensible. They are…I think you’re taking things completely out of context. You have a legitimate government in the country, OK, and I would urge the Catholic Institute on Justice to work with the government to make sure that food is distributed appropriately."

GF: Binga recorded the biggest vote of any constituency during the presidential election for the opposition. Do you think the people of Binga are now being punished?

George Shire: "There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that people of Binga were punished in any shape or form. The war veterans would not be as effective as they are without the support of local people I know that as somebody who was involved in armed struggle…

GF: So the people of Binga support being starved into submission by war veterans?

George Shire: "I’m sorry, I’m sorry, this is not true, your facts are wrong. There is no evidence that suggests that the state, in any shape or form, has impeded the distribution of food to people in Binga simply because they voted otherwise."

GF: In another area nearby, in Hwange West, I spoke to a family existing on leaves. That family was denied food aid by people who, again, described themselves as war veterans…

George Shire: "Well…"

GF: They said the food was not for MDC people…

George Shire: "The war veterans are not responsible, or have access to, the food distribution process in any part of Zimbabwe - OK?"

GF: They forced, from the evidence…

George Shire: "They’re not, they’re not, I’m sorry, they’re not…"

GF: What about the evidence I uncovered in Zimbabwe…

George Shire: "Well, you didn’t uncover that evidence because it’s not true…"

GF: But our travels around Zimbabwe indicate that the denial of access to food for political reasons is being carried out by government supporters, officials and agencies across the country. Since the election in March, human rights groups say Buhera, the home region of the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has become the centre of a purge of opposition supporters, backed by local Zanu PF officials, war veterans and the police. Among those who’ve fled is Prosper, a former teacher, who couldn’t get food for his young family.

Prosper: "The problem is of buying food. They only allow Zanu PF members to buy the food. There was a war veteran who was saying: ’You are MDC, you are not going to buy this food. Buy maize. Go back to the back of the line.’ So when you reach the number is near, they start taking you again back."

GF: So they make you queue until there’s no maize left?

Prosper: "Yes, whenever the queue is near they take you back again."

GF: The latest confrontations in Buhera and Binga fit into a wider campaign of violence and intimidation against the opposition which began more than two years ago. John Makumbe is a senior lecturer in political science in Harare and a founding member of the pressure group Crisis in Zimbabwe, which has been documenting the violence. He says the number attacks rose sharply in the months immediately after the presidential election earlier this year.

John Makumbe: "The war veterans have punished those who they allege are supporters of the opposition, and as people who are alleged to have voted for the MDC, are punished – not just in the sense of being beaten up and raped and murdered, and, you know, made to disappear, but even in terms of being refused food. And we are at the moment looking at more than seventy to ninety thousand people who are displaced, as the result of the violence in rural areas. We are looking at schools in many areas of the country being closed, and teachers are being beaten up, for supporting the MDC."

GF: Human rights groups estimate that in the first six months of the year, there were fifty-seven politically-linked murders, and over a thousand cases of torture, as well as hundreds of rapes, disappearances, and unlawful detentions. The Amani Trust, which helps victims of torture and violence, has compiled a study of a hundred and eighty cases. Tony Reeler is director of the Trust.

Tony Reeler: "The injuries were clearly indicative of systematic torture rather than simple assaults. The kinds of injuries we saw definitely implicated that the beatings were very systematic, they were confined to people’s backs and their buttocks, there were people who were beaten on the soles of their feet. You can’t beat people on the soles of their feet unless you do this as a deliberate exercise. A certain number of rapes as well. It all conformed to a picture that we would say categorically was systematic torture."

GF: And what happens to those people who have been detained by the police? Once they are released can they return to their homes?

Tony Reeler: "Many of them have been told that they’re basically banned and must leave the area. Some of them have been detained for periods up to twenty days, and then released without charges. Some have been charged, some have been charged and also experienced torture in detention. But the basic picture seems to be of displacing these people from that district and formally told by the police that they are banned from the area and they must get out."

GF: The allegations of officially-backed violence are categorically rejected by George Shire, who argues that politically-motivated attacks are perpetrated by supporters of the opposition, as well as the ruling party.

George Shire: "People linked to both political parties have been involved in violence of one kind or another including death of ordinary people. You have a culture of violence in Zimbabwe that is generated by people connected to all political parties. I condemn all violence. I know of no state institution or agency that would condone that violence."

GF: In Buhera, for example, the Amani Trust suggests that hundreds of people have left the area, partly as the result of detentions by the police in which many people have been beaten, some of them on the soles of their feet. This is systematic torture by government agencies…

George Shire: I think that’s a very serious charge to make, because there is no evidence to suggest that the institutions of the state have been dishing out violence to ordinary people in the manner in which you are describing. I keep on saying to you again – violence in Zimbabwe has been orchestrated by people – young people in the main – linked to both political parties. But to claim that the violence being meted out by the institutions of the state is not true."

GF: Nonetheless, human rights workers like Tony Reeler of the Amani Trust maintain that according to the internationally accepted definition, what’s taking place in Zimbabwe amounts to state-sponsored violence.

Tony Reeler: "Our conclusion in calling it torture i.e. implicating the state, is that the state has not repudiated the actions of key groups operating in the community - specifically, the war veteran militia, the youth militia, and Zanu PF supporters. The state has the power to stop that kind of violence. When you see no attempt by the state to stop that violence, then you can only conclude that the state tolerates it, and that fits with the definition of the UN convention, and therefore we have no difficulty in calling it torture i.e. state-sponsored."

GF: Those who’ve been displaced like Prosper, who fled Buhera for the capital, Harare, have no doubt they’re being punished for their political beliefs.

Prosper: "Police officers and Zanu PF members accompanied by war veterans are looking for the supporters of MDC. So we fled from home to bushes to big cities. The number can reach seven hundred to eight hundred people who had fled from their homes to find some other places for refugee. These people, they don’t feel safe to stay at home."

GF: Prosper and thousands of others are finding that life is little easier in Zimbabwe’s urban areas. The whole country is suffering food shortages. The capital hasn’t been spared the hardships.

Otilia: "During the winter it’s very cold at night. We give out blankets."

GF: Otilia works for a local charity which helps families affected by HIV and AIDS. Her job takes her to Harare’s most deprived suburbs every day. Places like Epworth, an impoverished township criss-crossed by potholed dirt roads.

Otilia: "We are going to Epworth. It’s a very poor suburb with a lot of people who are living in poverty. We are seeing some of the orphans who are on our programme already and assessing new orphans."

GF: The project gives out clothes and bedding and helps to pay school fees. It also provides food, including mealie meal, the staple of the Zimbabwean diet produced from maize.

Tichaona is eighteen years old and has just taken his A-levels. He hopes one day to become an economist. Since his father died as a result of AIDS he has been the head of a household of five living in a makeshift two-roomed dwelling. Water is drawn from a well. Even with help from Otilia, Tichaona and his family find themselves going hungry.

Tichaona: Sometimes we have to just drink tea. It’s getting worse and worse. There’s nothing we can do nowadays. In the supermarkets, if you ask for mealie meal and sugar, they will tell you they haven’t received any deliveries. There are a lot of people who are suffering. Even if they find the basic commodities, they won’t have the money to buy that food."

GF: Supermarkets like this one have taken on a forlorn air, the aisles devoid of basics such as mealie meal, cooking oil, sugar and salt. Many potential customers simply don’t bother coming to the shops any more. In an effort to give an impression of normality, the shelves are stacked with other goods, such as toilet rolls and expensive breakfast cereals.

Prices for the goods which are still available put them beyond the reach of many. Annual inflation is conservatively estimated by the government at well over a hundred per cent. Mealie meal costs more then three times the price last year. When the food shoppers really want occasionally arrives, supermarkets are besieged.

Queuing for basic necessities has become part of everyday life for many Zimbabweans. In front of me in this Harare suburb, the queue of perhaps several hundred people is snaking around to the back door of the supermarket. The queue today is for sugar. It apparently lasts about an hour or two to get from the back up to the front to buy a couple of bags of sugar. It’s being sold at more than the government-controlled price, but people are prepared to pay – they’re desperate.

It’s not just the poorest who’re being affected. All but the very rich are constantly on the lookout for food. In the kitchen at home, Otilia, relates the daily struggle to find something in the shops.

Otilia: "I things have just arrived, I’ll just get into queue very quickly, and grab whatever I want. Now salt, sugar, everything – you queue for it."

GF: Following independence in 1980, Zimbabwe grew into one of the most successful economies in Africa. A highly productive and efficient commercial farming sector helped it become a net exporter of food. Now, it’s unable to feed itself.

Otilia: "During the old days, people were poor, but everything was - was there. But now, you can’t have the food. If you want to buy the food, it’s on the black market, and you are poor – three times or two times the usual price. They are going out without food. Last week, we saw a man lying down the road, because he had gone two days without food, and he was almost fainting because he had nothing in his stomach."

GF: By the end of the year, The United Nations World Food Programme estimates that six million Zimbabweans will need help. Concerns over political interference contributed to a low-key response from donors to an international appeal last December. Now the WFP’s regional director Judith Lewis warns that without a more whole-hearted and rapid reaction this time, Zimbabwe is heading towards famine.

Judith Lewis: "We’re going to see an absolutely devastating humanitarian crisis. There are a number of causes – man-made and natural. Clearly, Zimbabwe has been affected by a major drought. We also have seen the devastating longer-term effects of the land reform policies in Zimbabwe. There’s so many factors that have just converged at one time and that’s why we’re looking at such a dramatic humanitarian crisis right now."

GF: As Judith Lewis hints, the food shortages are in part the result of president Mugabe’s policies and his government’s mismanagement. The strategic grain reserve was run down even before the drought. Seed and fertiliser for small-scale farmers was handed out far too late during the last planting season. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change says the problems so far are entirely the fault of the government. Welshman Ncube is the secretary-general of the party.

Welshman Ncube: We’ve already had an acute shortage of food, as long ago as the end of last year, and that is nothing to do with the current drought. It is all attributable to mismanagement. When the effects of the current drought are felt, this thing will be actually quite, quite terrible. You add to that the fact that there is no appreciation of the extent of the crisis. It’s as if you have a government which is in a state of denial, which is in a state of paralysis. They are not taking the steps that are required to bring into the country adequate food stocks to prevent a catastrophe."

GF: President Mugabe has declared a national disaster and appealed for international help. But he and his government maintain that the cause of the crisis is entirely down to the weather. George Shire rejects suggestions that the unfolding disaster is in any way man-made.

George Shire: "If the rains had come, in the last year or two, we wouldn’t be talking about famine in Zimbabwe, we would be talking about a bumper harvests, there have been two successive rainy seasons in which there has been no rain in Zimbabwe, and no other period in the history of Zimbabwe in the last twenty years has been affected in that way at all."

GF: The World Food Programme says that it is partly drought, but certainly it’s partly land reform, and government mismanagement as well. Do you accept that?

George Shire: No I don’t! I’m sorry, the land distribution programme which is coming to an end and has been operational in the last three years, when simultaneously there has been no rain, somehow the idea that changing that ownership in itself was being the cause and effect of the drought is really being economical with actualite. Some farmers have sabotaged farming themselves, a number of companies which are controlled by commercial farmers have been found in possession of tons of maize. People have been arrested and are being arraigned before the courts with precisely those issues, and I think to me it’s immoral for anybody to simply hoard food simply because you hope it will change the political climate of the day when people are starving."

GF: As well as detaining farmers, the police have raided food companies, accusing them of hoarding in order to push up prices. Businesses complain that they lose money every time they sell basic foodstuffs because of unrealistically low official price controls. The whole economy has buckled under the weight of government spending and debt. The International Monetary Fund withdrew several years ago. The local currency has collapsed, worth less than a tenth of its official value on the black market. One factor in the meltdown stands out above all others.

Zanu PF supporters celebrated as they illegally occupied thousands of white-owned farms. They were urged on by president Mugabe, whose government was facing a strong challenge in the elections.

Robert Mugabe: "Land must change hands, in favour of the majority of our people. The land is ours by birth, is ours by right, is ours also by struggle."

GF: The white commercial farmers provided an easy target. About four thousand of them owned the bulk of the best farming land. But they also formed the centrepiece of an industry which employed half the total workforce, and earned about forty per cent of Zimbabwe’s foreign currency, as well as feeding the nation. Now it’s being dismantled.

Unidentified: "Will you just grab your tea or coffee, have a seat, and we’ll make a start. OK, we’ll go through the incidents that have happened over the farms the last couple of weeks."

GF: Commercial farmers have been meeting across the country to discuss what to do in the run-up to the 10th August – the deadline given by the government for the majority of them to abandon their homes and businesses.

John: "It’s very difficult to plan a week ahead. I’m finding it very difficult to know what I’m planting this year, and planting commences in under six weeks time."

GF: John, who didn’t want us to use his full name for fear of retribution, is typical of many commercial farmers. He lives in a house built by his grandfather who settled in what was then Rhodesia after the First World War. Although John’s main business is growing tobacco and exporting flowers, in previous years he has also produced more than enough maize to feed the several hundred people who live and work on the farm. But the squatters who invaded the land and are now resettling it, have ordered him not to grow food.

John: "There has been two years when we have not put a maize pip in the ground."

GF: And what about the squatters or settlers? Have they been growing enough to feed themselves?

John: "They were never going to be able to reap anything sizeable. Most of them got to a stage where they abandoned their crops. What these settlers set out to do, in theory, was to feed the nation, and yet they’ve been abandoned and they haven’t been able to do it. The twist to it is that I haven’t been able to do it as well, and when I was ready to plant, I did have the money to plant maize, I had all the inputs ready, the infrastructure was ready to go, my knowledge of planting is still here, and yet I can’t do it."

GF: As well as the white farmers, the United Nations estimates that more than eight hundred thousand people – farmworkers and their families – are being thrown off the land. More people are likely to be displaced than are resettled.

This camp is home to a hundred and fifty people, all farmworkers and their families evicted at gunpoint by squatters. Their employer was severely beaten. Faith was previously an office-worker on the farm. Now she’s living in a tent and relying on handouts.

Faith: "The conditions here are bad, because at the farm we are used to work for ourselves and do everything you wish with your money. But here we are only looking for help from somebody else."

GF: Are any of the people who live here able to work?

Faith: They are able to work, but now there is no work they can go and find, just because most of the farmers are being evicted. People were used to work, and do everything for themselves, so – aah – the situation here is horrible."

GF: In such a polarised society, the World Food Programme is left with serious difficulties. It’s been operating in Zimbabwe since February, but so far managed to distribute on thirty thousand tons of aid – the equivalent of just a few days national consumption. It’s efforts to find politically neutral partner agencies have been largely unsuccessful. The agency’s regional director, Judith Lewis, says there’s a huge task ahead if a devastating crisis is to be averted.

Judith Lewis: "We think we still have a long way to go. We know that we don’t have enough food to feed everybody in the country. The government has not told us we cannot work – we just have not been able to move as quickly as we would like to."

GF: Why is it so difficult?

Judith Lewis: Well, the government really would like to be able to call the shots in terms of where we should distribute food, so we still have to discuss very regularly with the government in terms of doing our own work.

GF: Do you think the danger really is that the World Food Programme is getting involved in propping up an unpopular government?

Judith Lewis: No, absolutely not. We are feeding hungry people. Hungry people don’t have politics.

GF: But the danger, surely, is that food goes in, but it goes in to people who are government supporters only.

Judith Lewis: No. Not the food that is being distributed by the World Food Programme. The World Food Programme will not be involved with that type of approach.

GF: Given the instances of political interference, do you think the WFP should be involved at all in Zimbabwe? Should it not say: ‘We can’t work in those circumstances. When there’s no political interference, then we’ll start working here.’"

Judith Lewis: The last option would be to have to pull out of Zimbabwe. We want to stay in Zimbabwe to help people who are not responsible for the causes of what’s going on in Zimbabwe, but are suffering nonetheless."

GF: President Mugabe’s government – suspicious about outside intervention following the barrage of negative publicity over the past two years – isn’t making that task any easier. Zanu PF’s foreign affairs spokesman, Didymus Mutasa, says western food aid will be accepted, but only if it is given unconditionally.

Didymus Mutasa: "There are true and genuine friends, like China, like Libya, like the Arab world, who will help us, and they will help us at our request. The rest of you can please keep your money, keep your aid, and keep yourselves out of Zimbabwe, and we will manage – thank you."

GF: Six million Zimbabweans…

Didymus Mutasa: "We will not come to you, we have not come to you to beg. If you want to help us, then help us. And if you don’t want to help us, well then shut up and keep where you are."

GF: Zimbabweans are already dying because of hunger. Even with a concerted and well-funded international effort, it’s likely that more will do so. But with reticence among donors and growing evidence of widespread interference by the government, a difficult situation shows alarming signs of becoming a disastrous one.

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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 02 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.


At 02h00 31 July 2002 a 7 tonne Volvo FL6, White, 599860W belonging to Northern Growers, Box 252, Karoi was hi-jacked full of Flue Cured tobacco.  Growers number 1032 is on the propac and the paper.  84 bales are involved.

The hi-jacking happened at Banket and the driver arrived at Darwendale Police Station.  The truck, which has no trailer, then proceeded to the main Harare - Chirundu Road.

If anyone sees this truck, please contact Sean Forster 064-7800.  ( or Paul Hopcroft 066-3196  /011860000 or David Rockingham-Gill 067-22410 / 091262051 or e-mail


·        In the Midlands, Veld fires are occurring with increasing frequency causing serious damage to grazing resources and, in some instances, property, mostly caused through carelessness on the part of settlers while clearing fields. Worst case - destruction of about one and a half million dollars worth of hay bales in a barn.

·        Masvingo East and Central – the Bon Air Farm owner reports a large Kudu Bull with massive horns was chased by packs of dogs and poachers on 31.07.02 until it finally broke its leg and fell. The dogs proceeded to kill it. The owner confiscated the meat from the poachers. 

·        Chimanimani - On Charleswood Estate, cattle were put into the minimal grazing area left to the farmer.  Not long after, they were moved out by settlers.

·        Doma - Settlers tried to burn down the Zesa electricity poles to steal the cable.  Police given the motorcar registration number. 

·        Banket/Trelawney/Darwendale - At Woodleigh Farm a heifer valued at ZW$80 000-00 was slaughtered in the paddock.  All the meat was ferried away leaving behind only a head. 

·        Raffingora - Pressure is experienced from a new labour union calling themselves Zimbabwe Agricultural Labour Consultants based in Banket.



In my communique of the 26th July, I singled out Tanganda Tea, which was wrong, as there was a large number of Tea Producers involved in the recent wage negotiation.  They fall under Agro-Based Industry and not Agro-Industry.

The gentleman taken down to help with he negotiations was with H-GAPWUZ and not GAPWUZ.

I would like to apologise for any damage I may have caused between Tanganda Tea and its farming neighbours.

Judy Wilson, REO Mutare 

Chipinge - A farmer was arrested on 28.07.02, for allegedly burning three DDF tractors.  He was nowhere near the area but was reported to “have been seen” in the area.  Another forester from Chimanimani area is also being held for the same incident.  The two men went to court 01.08.02.     The labour is still in a state of unrest.  Some workers are not happy; as they are not being paid for the days they were on strike.  Farmers have brought their labour committees into Mutare to have meetings with Ministry of Labour to try and solve the problem.

Chimanimani - On Charleswood Estate, cattle were put into the minimal grazing area left to the farmer.  Not long after, they were moved out by settlers.

Nyazura - Theft on the increase, suspected to be the workers.  Settlers are quiet and just sitting around.

Mutare - Agritex are buying irrigation equipment from a farmer who is selling up. Plenty of brick making ongoing.

Odzi - stumping still on going.  Settlers are still going around looking for jobs.

No report received.

Harare South - Eight Section 8 Orders received.  One farm manager attempted to report to Police the theft of MCB's but this was refused.  Three tractors were towed away from one farm.  A farmer reported his labour on strike.  Pegging occurred on an unlisted farm.  On one farm a meeting was held with the labour and labour from surrounding farms, where they were told they or the farmer would not be moved off the farm and no assets are to leave the farm.  Another farmer was told to be off the farm by 22.09.02 and 33 people were moved on to the farm and told to erect permanent structures and no assets are to be removed.  Theft of fencing reported.  One farmer accused of hoarding maize; as had a small amount for his labour the ZRP were satisfied this was not hoarding.  Another farmer's labour refused to load tobacco, demanding the remainder of their retrenchment packages. 

Macheke/Virginia - General theft, report of a house break-in, one cow slaughtered and 15 cattle missing.  General hassles from labour demanding retrenchment packages. 



Doma - Some settlers trying to move on to Nellivale Farm.  One strike reported at Nirvana Farm.

Settlers tried to burn down the Zesa electricity poles to steal the cable.  Police given the motorcar registration number.  Section 7's and Section 8's being served.  The DelaRosa Farm owner was locked out of his house.

Umboe/Chinhoyi - Massive burning of grazing on 29.07.2002, with five fires going at once.  Umboe reported receiving Section 7's but very few so far.  A farmer was made to move his cattle for the third time.


Kariba - Many people from Chinhoyi have gone to Chirundu to see if they can plant early maize.

Karoi - Agritex is going around asking questions about the wheat crop.  No bad news at present.  Rocklands received a Section 7 on 30.07.02. 

Tengwe - Some bush fires.  Reuben Maramahoko M.P. is encouraging some farmers to plant crops.


Some extortion reported from Mvurachena. A robbery occurred at Erewhom on 24.07.2002, where a VCR and some alcohol was stolen.  Much of the veld burnt out. 


At Woodleigh Farm, a heifer valued at ZW$80 000-00 was slaughtered in the paddock.  All the meat was ferried away leaving behind only a head.  No suspect was picked up and the case was reported to Banket Police for investigation.  At Bessville Grange Farm a man was arrested for theft of 50 kg of soyabeans valued at ZW$ 5 000-00 from the land.  The soyabeans were recovered and the accused handed over to Banket Police for charges.  Sundown Farm reports theft of 2 inch x 9m irrigation pipes valued at ZW$30 000-00 from the seedbeds.  No suspect picked up as yet.  Vehicle theft occurred at Mariondale Farm of an Isuzu: engine number 765649 KB280, Reg No. 532-017D, blue in Colour.  At Ayshire Downs, there was illegal netting of 20 kg of fish.  The accused was handed over to the police.  Riverhead Farm reports theft of 2 MCB's valued at ZW$800 000 from ZESA switchbox and one electric motor (value not given).  No suspect picked up as yet.  Between Rivers Farm reports theft of 2 knapsacks, 2 watering cans, 1/2 x 25 litres tamarone, 1/2 x 5 litres copper, 25 x 500 grams chemicals and wheat theft 2 x 50 kgs valued at ZW$2000-00 from the sheds. 40 kg of wheat was recovered and the accused handed over to the police. Burnhills Farm also reports theft of 28 sprinklers (value not supplied).  Accused handed over to the police.  At Ashley Farm, cattle were driven out from the paddock to Chitombowizi area.  All the cattle valued at ZW$100 000-00.  Accused was arrested and cattle recovered in Chitombowizi area and driven back to the farm.  At Clydesdale Farm, a person was netting and in the possession of 15 kg of fish using a 1 x 12m net and 1 x 15m net.  Accused handed over to the police. Stockfield Farm had a house break-in.  Stolen was a Sharp radio, a 6310 Nokia cellphone, portable phone, TV decoder and five CD's valued at ZW$740 000-00. No suspect picked up as yet.  Shipton Flowers reports theft of a water tap valued at ZW$35000-00 from the pipeline at the barns.  No suspect picked up as yet.  At Ilanga Farm a 6-month-old calf was slaughtered in the paddock and only a head and skin were left behind, and the rest of the meat was ferried away.  On Sholliver Farm, accused were arrested for poaching and in possession of a warthog and a spear.  Usham Farm had a house break-in.  Items stolen not disclosed as yet.  Kasanzi Farm reports theft of a 12-volt battery from an energizer.  Zanzandare Farm had a theft of 5,5 hp electric motor (value not supplied) from the pump house at the dam, serial No. AA00090.  No suspect picked up as yet.  Shirleigh Farm reports theft of a submersible pump valued at ZW$500 000-00 from the borehole.  No suspect picked up as yet.  Wynhill Farm suffered theft of 90 x hydron screws valued at ZW$180 000-00 from the land.  No suspect as yet.  At Monga Farm an accused was arrested for arson at the beerhall in the compound.  Myeti Farm had 200 m of electric cable (valued not supplied) stolen from the pivot at the field. No suspect as yet. At Riverside Farm, the settlers called yet another meeting on 30.07.02.  A total of twenty settlers attended (out of forty).  They were adamant to make it political, by insisting on the Pamberi's before the meeting.  Farm labour is very wary and hesitant to participate - but did.  Points from the "meeting" are

a) They are to do all year round cropping (instructed by Government).  This will begin in April 2003, after the rains.  Their cropping programme will include horticulture, to be funded by donor organisations and/ or Government.  For this they will need the use of the farmer’s irrigation pumps/ pipes:  for which they will pay for the ZESA, theft, repairs etc with the money from the donors.  When the cost per day in ZESA was mentioned to them, they were not perturbed at all as they were 100% certain the government would meet these bills.
b) The Land Preparation rate the Farmer quoted (same as the Gvt. DDF rate) per hectare, was far too much.  The settlers felt the farmer is making a huge profit. They further went on to say that they think it would be better if they supplied the diesel, and Farmer supplied the equipment and labour for free! Having tried to explain there is no possible way this could be accommodated financially, it would pay the Farmer to shut down totally, they again were not concerned at this.  Nor were they concerned about the 100 farm workers families' jobs that would be lost.
c) The white man has lots of money.  This comment arose a number of times, to the extent that one could not even try to explain to them differently!

This farm does not have a Section 8, but has been unable to utilise any of the fields, even for grazing cattle!

Raffingora – at Farm 1 severe trouble continues. The owner paid off his labour with full packages, who now want more. Settler Chimere is trying to evict owner from the homestead and told the labour they will be working for him from October 2002. On and off strikes continue. Wheat has been planted here.  At Farm 2 strikes and negotiations continue. Settlers threaten to take out the pumps for the wheat irrigation if retrenchment packages are not paid.  The owner has no cash to pay it anyway. Another strike occurred on Farm 3, with labour demanding packages. This was sorted out by Zanu PF Matafari.  At Farm 4, Kangachepe is still on farm most days travelling from Mafuta farm. He is still battling to find enough settlers to take plots and encouraging labour to force the owner to pay retrenchment packages. Labour went on strike after they were paid. The owner is still off farm. There was a break in to the main homestead on the evening of 28.07.02 with a VCR, clothing and cell phone stolen. Investigations continue. Police were notified. Farm 5 has pressure from one settler to vacate the manager’s house. Other A2 settlers are threatening to switch off pre-irrigation. The Farm 6 owner went to Ministry of Lands and Agritex confirming no Section 8 to date. "War vet" Kangachepe threatens to come back but has not arrived. It has been decided no deals to be made until Section 8 arrives. The owner has found out the map of settlers boundaries has changed whereby Mr. Mutasa (campaign manager for Chombo) was allocated the Misiyesi homestead and two plots of 100 ha and the D.A. Shumba Chegutu, allocated the main homestead and two plots of 100 ha. At Farm 7 there are major problems with labour demanding retrenchment packages in full and strikes on and off. Lorries for bales are not being loaded. There is major pressure from A2 settler, Mr. Chunga, to vacate the house, disrupting the labour and threatening the owner. Visits by Ministry of Labour Chinhoyi have been no help at all. NEC Denver Chinhoyi is unable to attend and ALB Harare not very helpful. The Farm 8 owner returns from absence on 01.08.02.  The Lt.Col. settler who has planted wheat disrupting labour on the next door farm. A report of 29.07.02 states the Lt. Col. obtained keys to the main homestead and stole one of the children’s mountain bikes. Police notified. Borehole has stopped working – collecting water from Katawa in bowsers. The Lt Col. Is adamant the owner must repair the borehole when he returns. The Farm 9 owner and his wife came back on the farm intermittently after the D.A. had removed the youth from the workshop yard. This must be the first time for three months.   Farm 10 reported theft from the main homestead. The owner is off the farm but in the District.  At Farm 11, the black manager reports he was ordered out of the main house back into the manager’s house by settler Chirama. The main house was broken into – carpets etc. stolen, but no entry into the two locked bedrooms. Boreholes have stopped working  – labour and settlers getting water from the dam and river.   Various other farmers are threatened with eviction from houses. Settlers are lighting veld fires throughout the district. Farmers are all trying to continue despite the increasing labour unrest. Pressure is experienced from a new labour union calling themselves Zimbabwe Agricultural Labour Consultants based in Banket. Farmers are visited by GAPWUZ checking on seasonal workers – agricultural holidays paid, grades of workers and back pay where necessary with a 33% commission on any dues for non-union members.

General - There are more and more military officers trying to intimidate farmers.  One Col. said he was working on behalf of the Commissioner of Prisons!


At 02h00 31 July 2002 a 7 tonne Volvo FL6, White, 599860W belonging to Northern Growers, Box 252, Karoi was hi-jacked full of Flue Cured tobacco.  Growers number 1032 is on the propac and the paper.  84 bales are involved.

The hi-jacking happened at Banket and the driver arrived at Darwendale Police Station.  The truck, which has no trailer, then proceeded to the main Harare - Chirundu Road.

If anyone sees this truck, please contact Sean Forster 064-7800.  ( or Paul Hopcroft 066-3196  /011860000 or David Rockingham-Gill 067-22410 / 091262051 or e-mail

Report to follow on Monday.

Masvingo East and Central
– the Bon Air Farm owner reports a large Kudu Bull with massive horns was chased by packs of dogs and poachers on 31.07.02 until it finally broke its leg and fell. The dogs proceeded to kill it. The owner confiscated the meat from the poachers.   He also continues to fight fires on his property started by settlers in this area.

Chiredzi – the wet weather has dampened the surge of veld fires. Poaching and snaring continue and plenty of busy settlers reported moving around on several properties.

Mwenezi - More of the same happening in this area, cutting of trees continues, snaring and poaching is ongoing.

Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue in this area.

Gutu / Chatsworth - Nothing to report from this area.

Summary for month: Theft, stock theft and poaching are so common that no one bothers to tell the office about them. Section 8's and 7's are being served sporadically but not always reported. This is due to the fact that farmers are dealing directly with Land Committees and, in some cases, getting Sec 8s lifted in return for agreeing to subdivision etc. So far 48 known section 8s have been served affecting 85 title deeds. Veld fires are occurring with increasing frequency causing serious damage to grazing resources and, in some instances, property. Mostly caused through carelessness on the part of settlers while clearing fields. Worst case - destruction of about one and a half million dollars worth of hay bales in a barn. Inspection of maize stocks by GMB officials has started again.

No report received.                                               Visit the CFU Website

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

Fletcher Dulini, the national treasurer of the MDC and a member of our most
senior leadership was arrested this morning.  The charge is that he was
involved in the abduction and murder of Cain Nkala, a local war veteran
leader who was found murdered earlier this year.

The circumstances of Cain Nkala's abduction and murder are well known - he
was abducted in broad daylight from his home in Bulawayo, in front of his
wife and several others.  His abductors are therefore known to the
Mrs..  Nkala has been held under supervision by the Police since this time
and has not been allowed to speak to the press or anyone connected with the

In a carefully fabricated operation, some 8 MDC activists including Fletcher
Dulini were arrested and charged with the murder and held in prison for
weeks.  Three are still in prison despite court orders that they should be
released on bail.  There is no evidence that any of the 8 are connected in
any way with the murder and we are satisfied that the state has no evidence
on which to base any of these charges.

The concern now, is that Fletcher, an older man who is a devout Christian
and church member and a serious diabetic, needs constant medical attention.
In his earlier imprisonment he was denied this attention and no special diet
was provided and as a result his sight deteriorated very badly.  When he was
eventually released on bail, he was put into hospital by the family but was
unable to regain the full use of his eyes and one eye in particular
deteriorated still further.

Yesterday, he was operated on for the removal of the eye and was about to go
back for further treatment in the local eye clinic, when he was arrested.

We are outraged by this inhuman, irresponsible and reprehensible act.  The
case which involves Fletcher only goes to court on the 11th November and to
arrest him now on the pretext that he is to arraigned before a Judge on
these charges next week is simply legal harassment.  To take this action
against an elderly businessman who is struggling to get on top of a serious
injury and with his medical condition is totally unacceptable.

We urge you to do what you can to bring this to the attention of the
political authorities and human rights groups in your area.  Get them to
demand action on this case now and to ensure that this is not ignored by
those with influence.  In South Africa we need to ensure that every effort
is made to get the South African government to demand that this matter be
dealt with in a humane way and the rights of Fletcher Dulini and the others
are observed in full.

It is now clear that the legal process in Zimbabwe is being used
increasingly as a means of intimidating and suppressing opposition.  While
the state itself is ignoring the application of the law and also saying that
they will not observe court decisions that are not in their interests, they
are using every possible avenue to charge members of the opposition with
misdemeanors and even if they cannot make a case, are using this and their
control of the Police, to harass, detain and imprison leadership of the MDC.

Eddie Cross
4th August 2002


            03/08/2002 17:47  - (SA)

      Police arrest MDC MP in hospital

      Harare - Lawyers were trying to secure the release of a 62-year-old
top opposition official on Saturday who was arrested in hospital in the
western city of Bulawayo, less than 24 hours after he had one of his eyes
surgically removed.

      Plainclothes security police collected Fletcher Dulini-Ncube, the
treasurer of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and local
Bulawayo MP, from his bed in the private Mater Dei hospital where he was
recuperating from his operation, said lawyer Nicholas Mathonsi.

      He said the police had insisted Dulini-Ncube be kept in police custody
over the weekend so they could bring him to the Bulawayo magistrate's court
on Monday where he is due to be indicted for trial for the alleged murder
last year of a senior figure in President Robert Mugabe's militia of
guerrilla war veterans.

      "He is in extreme danger," said Mathonsi. "I have given letters to the
police from his doctors who say that if he is detained in any other
conditions the chances are his eye will become septic and will affect the

      "We are trying to get police to understand they can look after him in
hospital, and that we can get the magistrate to indict him in his hospital
bed, but they are being unreasonable."

      He was held in filthy cells for nearly two months

      Dulini-Ncube suffers from severe diabetes. His eye condition was
caused when he was arrested in November last year and held in filthy cells
for nearly two months while police refused to allow him full access to
diabetes drugs.

      Dulini-Ncube was one of dozens of MDC officials and supporters
detained in a police crackdown against the pro-democracy party in Bulawayo
over the killing of war veteran Cain Nkala.

      He and many others were held illegally for weeks and he was only
released in late December on high court orders.

      "He has been reporting twice a week to the police since he was
released," said Mathonsi. "It's not as if he is about to run away."

      Two other junior MDC party workers have been jail for nine months,
without being brought to trial or any evidence produced to indicate they may
have been involved in Nkala's murder.

      Prison authorities last month defied both high court and supreme court
orders for their release. They are still in custody after police authorities
had them indicted for trial, a move which effectively cancelled the orders
for their release and meant lawyers had to apply afresh for release orders,
Mathonsi said.

      Observers say the arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions and denial of
detainees' rights over the Cain Nkala murder is one of the more blatant
cases of police partiality and persecution of the MDC.

      Never really recovered

      "Dulini Ncube never really recovered from the extreme diabetic
condition he suffered while he was custody," Mathonsi said.

      Anxiety over state attempts to arrest him again had worsened his
condition, and he spent two weeks in hospital last month.

      "The doctors decided a few days ago the only way forward was to remove
the eye," he said.

      International human rights bodies and Western diplomats have
repeatedly denounced Zimbabwe's police as an arm of the ruling ZANU(PF)
party, with a long record of persecution of the MDC, while no action has
been taken against hundreds of ruling party suspects in cases of murder and

      Mugabe's regime has been isolated by most of the world as a result of
his campaign of lawlessness he launched against the MDC in early February
2000, immediately after a referendum that month made it clear the opposition
party was easily capable of defeating him in elections.
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Last Handshakes

Dear Family and Friends,
There is a desperate air in Zimbabwe as we approach the 10th August when almost 3000 commercial farmers have been ordered to cease all agricultural production and move off their properties. There has not been the slightest indication from our government that they will change their minds and stop this catastrophic situation; even the fact of 6 million starving people  already needing food aid will not deter them. I would like to try and put the reality of this horror into words for you and apologise for what will be a long letter.
Recently I had four people sitting around my kitchen table and they had come to say goodbye to each other. They were a white farmer and his wife and their two black employees. The white farmer had been evicted from his home of 23 years by a bunch of thugs claiming to represent the government. The farmer had not received any notification of compulsory land acquisition from the government but was powerless to protect himself, his wife, their employees, livestock, equipment or property. The farmer lost everything he had worked his entire life for. He lost his land and house, the fencing and timber plantations. He lost his borehole and it's motor, the farm buildings, cottage, dam, cattle race and dip tank. He lost his tractor and plough, fuel and tools. He lost all his laying hens, their feed and all the equipment in the runs. Perhaps worst of all he lost his retirement and pension, his security and peace of mind. All was taken by a mob of men who arrived at the gate and took over. The farmer and his wife are leaving the country because they know only farming.
Across the table from the farmer sat the last two workers. Both men had worked for the farmer for almost two decades, both are married with a number of children and both knew that this was the last goodbye. The older of the two men, Sekuru, doesn't know exactly how he old he is. His eyesight is not too good anymore and most of his teeth are gone. Sekuru's wife is blind, diabetic and asthmatic and it took almost all of his monthly wage on the farm to buy her medicines. These two men have also lost everything to the bunch of thugs that came to the farm gate. They have lost their jobs, their homes and their income. They have lost the ability to buy food and medicines and pay school fees for their children. They have lost the eggs, chickens, meat, vegetables and fruit that the farmer regularly gave them. Worst of all these two men have lost the ability to provide for their families. The eyes of all the people around my kitchen table were filled with tears as the farmer and his wife paid off their last two workers. They had shared so much and I could hardly bear to watch their last handshakes or listen to their final good-byes.
This scene is about to be played out on 3000 other Zimbabwean farms with at least a quarter of a million people having to say goodbye. In the midst of this human tragedy is the animals and no one know for sure what is going to happen to them - cats and dogs, horses and ponies, sheep and cows, chickens and ostriches. For many many months the Zimbabwe SPCA have been rescuing animals forcibly abandoned by farmers who have been given as little as one hour to vacate their homes by militant mobs. Recently a terrified cat was rescued from its hiding place under a bricked in bath tub on a farm in Bindura by the ZNSPCA director, Meryl Harrison. Meryl reported that when young Thomas Bayley was lying on the floor with his arm through the crack, just able to touch the fur of the cat and with tears streaming down his face, she went and met with the war veterans and gained their approval to break down the brickwork. The traumatized animal was finally rescued and reunited with the family. In order to gain the war veterans' consent Meryl promised to return the following day and treat their animals, which she did.
Only a miracle will stop this mass eviction of farmers on the 10th of August. If you are religious I humbly ask that you pray for us, our farmers, thousands of farm workers and their families. If you have a few dollars to spare and would like to help may I suggest the following three options: For all victims of political  violence (with specific emphasis on farm workers) who have been displaced and require support and rehabilitation, contact Rob Monroe at  the Zimbabwe Trust, email: for details. For farmers and their workers desperately trying to stay on their feet and who have lost their homes and security, contact James Maberly at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Welfare Trust, email for details. For the animals,  often forcibly left unfed and uncared for at the mercy of militant thugs and desperately in need of food and drugs, contact Ann Kempen at email: All three of these organisations are registered charities; all  guarantee that your money will get to exactly the intended beneficiaries and will not be diverted to other purposes. Thank you, until next week, love cathy  Saturday 2nd August 2002.
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Zimbabwe Continues to Block Gene-Altered Corn

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 3, 2002; Page A14

The Zimbabwean government, the U.S. Agency for International Development and
the United Nations World Food Program plan to continue negotiating through
the weekend over how to get a shipment of gene-modified food to the African
nation's hungry populace, sources in Africa and the United States said

About half of Zimbabwe's 13 million citizens are on the brink of famine
because of a prolonged drought and bureaucratic mismanagement of food
supplies. Earlier this week, a ship containing 17,500 metric tons of corn
donated by USAID docked at Durban, South Africa, for distribution to
Zimbabwe by the United Nations. But President Robert Mugabe has said he is
reluctant to accept the corn unless it is milled. Otherwise, he has said,
farmers may plant some genetically engineered kernels, contaminating the
nation's fields and making Zimbabwean corn ineligible for export in future
years to Europe, which restricts such varieties.

It is uncertain who would pay to mill the corn. Negotiations are focusing on
how to ensure that cornmeal gets to areas most in need if the Zimbabwean
government does the milling. Aid organizations have been distributing food
through nongovernmental organizations there because of evidence that the
government has been diverting food from areas of poor political support.
Sources said aid agencies want to be assured that the corn, once milled,
will not be diverted.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company
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August 2, 2002 4:12pm

Zimbabwe capable to be self-sufficient in foreign currency, XINHUA

HARARE, Aug. 2 (Xinhua)--Zimbabwe has the capacity to be self-sufficient in
foreign currency in the next three years, said a senior official here

Trade and economic consultant Samuel Undenge said that the only way to
achieve the objective was that the correct export incentives should be
implemented in the country.

Undenge said that Zimbabwe had the skilled manpower, natural resources and
was strategically situated in the region to become an economic powerhouse.

He pointed out that thf"cornerstone was to ensure that Zimbabwe put in place
the right export incentives to encourage companies to start exporting.

"Our economic problems are mainly because there is not enough foreign
exchanges generated due to dependence on the International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank. It did not dawn on us to generate our own foreign
exchanges," he said.

He added that Zimbabwe needed proper management of the little foreign
exchanges so that it was allocated to high priority areas

in the economy.

The initiatives to be implemented should also address the input or supply
side as this had never been addressed.

The government had only been addressing the end product and not the export
value chain which had resulted in an unsatisfactory performance of the
manufacturing sector.

Undenge said if appropriate incentives were put in place there would be no
calls for devaluation.

The numerous devaluation that Zimbabwe had implemented over the years
had"not yielded any positive results but had drawn the

country deeper into crisis by fueling inflation.

Zimbabwe has been facing a severe foreign currency crisis for the past three
years as a result of declining exports and the low prices of commodities on
the international markets.

Copyright 2002 XINHUA all rights reserved as distributed by WorldSources,
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Zim Standard

      Jongwe saga opens can of worms

      By Euphracia Mahenga

      THE nation was left in shock a fortnight ago when Kuwadzana MP and MDC
spokesman Learnmore Jongwe brutally stabbed his wife Rutendo, leaving her
for dead.

      Few, if any, would have imagined that Jongwe, a young political leader
and lawyer with his future ahead of him, would take the law into his own
hands and turn to violence to solve a nagging domestic problem allegedly
bordering on infidelity.

      Jongwe represented an emerging force among the youth which threatened
to take political glamour from geriatrics such as President Mugabe and his
vice presidents, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Musika, among other aging Zanu PF
politicians blamed for the economic malaise gripping the country.

      But as activists of gender equality have long pointed out, the nasty
incident that occurred at Number 6 Vickers Road, (the Jongwe family
residence) showed that domestic violence in Zimbabwe is not confined simply
to the poor, illiterate or unemployed. It is a problem that extends from the
overcrowded Matapi hostels in Mbare, right up to affluent suburbs such as
Borrowdale, Gunhill, Greystone Park and the State House.

      Several men beat their wives up following disputes which could be
solved amicably, while others engage in psychological violence which has led
many women to suicide or life-threatening illnesses.

      Men's Forum on Gender, Padare/ Enkundleni, an anti sexist men's
organisation which condemns all forms of violence, particularly male
violence against women, says the Jongwe case is just the tip of the iceberg.

      "Rutendo's tragic story mirrors the several unreported cases of men
who continue to perpetrate violence against women in both public and private
spaces," lamented Padare chairperson, Jonah Gokova.

      For example, The Standard was informed, President Mugabe abused his
late wife Sally Mugabe in the early 1990s when he began dating Grace, a
woman young enough to be his grand daughter.

      Sally, who had a kidney ailment, was battling for her life while
Mugabe was having a good time with his secretary.

      Said Gokova: "We consider that a form of violence which men should try
to disassociate themselves from. It is unfortunate that we don't mention
names when we condemn such acts."

      MDC secretary-general, Professor Welshman Ncube, said mental anguish
fell into the category of psychological violence.

      "In the case of our president, assuming that Sally was aware of the
affair between Mugabe and Grace, it clearly becomes a classical example of
domestic violence."

      Sheila Mahere, the director of Musasa Project said men who abandoned
their wives for young girls were guilty of domestic violence.

      "Zvinoshamisa kuti varume vakaona mazamu avakadzi avo awa, vanobva
vamhanyira kuvasikana vacheche. Vanobva vakanganwa kuti kune Aids. (It is
surprising that men leave their faithful wives at home and take young girls
regardless of the HIV/Aids pandemic ravaging the country).

      She added: "We did not condemn Mugabe because his late wife Sally was
not our client as was the case with Rutendo Jongwe. We knew the full facts
about Rutendo unlike what happened at the State House which came out as
rumours. If we had received evidence, we would have condemned it."

      Mahere expressed surprise that organisations involved in the fight
against domestic violence had feasted on the Jongwe case but had never
condemned the Zanu PF politicians who abused women.

      Mahere then developed cold feet over her statements. "I never talked
to you about Mugabe and his late wife," she said. "Handidi hangu kutomboona
zita rangu mubepa menyu. I will sue you till kingdom come. Handinei
nezvinoitwa naPresident," she fumed.

      She later phoned the editor of The Standard, Bornwell Chakaodza,
saying she would take great exception to the mere mention of Musasa project
in the story.

      Information made available to this paper indicates that a number of
prominent people including politicians, professionals and business people
also abused their wives.

      According to statistics from Musasa Project, domestic violence occurs
everyday with one in very four women experiencing physical, sexual,
psychological and economic violence.

      "This is indeed a lesson for us all to take responsible action and
give support whenever we see domestic violence because that black eye or
that broken arm, is a sign of potential death. Remember, today it is
Rutendo, tomorrow it can be you, your daughter, your sister, anyone in any
family," the Musasa project said in a statement.

      A considerable number of woman are flocking to Musasa Project for
protection from assault by their husbands, an increasingly disturbing trend.

      Even though many organisations are not prepared to admit it, many men
are also finding themselves at the receiving end of beatings from violent

      "I live in fear of my wife. She constantly beats me over silly things
such as coming home late. When I get paid, she demands every cent of my

      If I don't comply I get a hiding," said a distressed Kuwadzana man.

      "It's high time people realised that fighting will not solve anything.
In fact there are so many counselling centres where people can go and
discuss their problems if they strongly feel that they will not reach a
point of agreement," said one woman activist who preferred not to be named.

      Zimbabwe is a signatory to instruments like the convention on the
Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and Girls (CEDAW),
the Sadc Gender and development declaration and the African Charter.
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A brief economic review prepared by the
 Affairs Committee of the Movement for Democratic Change. The review covers
 the current fiscal year and look forward to the year 2003.

 E G Cross
 Secretary for Economic Affairs.
 4th August 2002
Movement for Democratic Change
Economic Outlook for the Zimbabwe Economy.
At the half way mark through the year 2002, the Movement for Democratic Change feels it is time to take a fresh look at the likely outcome of the current fiscal year and the outlook for the fiscal year 2003. In 2001, we predicted that the downturn in the economy in 2002 would be between 10 and 12 per cent, exports would fall below US$1,5 billion and food imports would be required from April onwards and would exceed 2 million tonnes.
In its latest outlook report the Ministry of Finance has adjusted its estimate of the decline in economic output to -11 per cent (down from an estimate of -9 per cent in December last year). The Ministry has reported that exports actually fell below US$1,5 billion in 2001 – and will fall still further this year. Current estimates of total food import requirements range from 2 to 2,2 million tonnes.
By the end of this winter only 15 to 20 per cent of all large scale commercial farms will still be functioning and demand for agricultural inputs will have fallen from an estimated volume in a normal agricultural season of Z$150 billion to approximately Z$35 billion or less than a quarter of the normal level of demand. This is expected to have very considerable knock-on effects in the rest of the economy, the outcome of which is still very difficult to predict.
Exchange rates continue to be held at artificially low levels by the state and this is having a serious effect on certain sectors of the economy. The efforts of the Ministry of Finance to ameliorate the worst effects of these policies by allowing a multitude of different rates to apply in the actual market is softening the full impact but cannot halt the damage being inflicted on the productive sector as a whole or the damaging cross border effects in neighboring countries. They are also distorting demand locally and impacting on shortages already manifest in the market for specific products. The worst affected industry is the gold mining sector where the total output of the industry is normally sold to the Reserve Bank and producers receive a fixed exchange rate at well below viable levels in the current inflationary environment.
Contrary to what the President has said in his speech at the opening of Parliament, the state has devalued the local currency by an effective 100 per cent with the changes to the specific exchange rates applying to different industries, especially tobacco. This still maintains an exchange rate well above its real value and this is undermining the export sector throughout the economy. Contrary to the belief that a sound devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar would fuel inflation and raise energy costs, it is the view of the MDC that pricing the dollar at its correct level would in fact reduce inflation. There are no reasons as to why energy costs should rise as they are already priced theoretically at values, which reflect lower exchange rates.
Sight is often lost of the fact that the state buys the majority of the foreign exchange inflows to the country at controlled exchange rates. In the current year it is estimated that the state will buy approximately US$870 million at fixed exchange rates. This will cost them on average 100 to 1 at present exchange rates. These low cost funds will be used to support the war in the Congo, the patronage system and lavish life styles of the Zanu elite.
The outlook for inflation is difficult to predict. The CSO data available does not seem to reflect the actual inflation being experienced in a wide range of prices. Food prices certainly have risen by at least 150 per cent in the past 12 months and if the prices being charged in the parallel markets are used, inflation is already well above the 200 per cent level per annum. The impact of the sharp devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar in parallel markets from an average of about 300 to 1 against the US dollar in 2001 to over 700 to 1 today has yet to be fully expressed in local prices. It is expected therefore that inflation will continue to rise throughout the rest of the year and will exceed 200 per cent by the yearend. 
The recent reduction in a number of key interest rates by the Reserve Bank and the Ministry of Finance will simply exacerbate inflationary pressures throughout the economy. In addition they continue to be a serious disincentive to savings and constitute a major new form of informal taxation. The purpose of low interest rates is to hold down the deficit in the national budget and this in itself is encouraging the maintenance of state expenditure at unsustainable levels.
Low interest rates and the availability of funds from state controlled entities at even lower interest rates has encouraged a massive “bubble” in respect to both the market for equities and property. Many banks are now over extended with debt of questionable quality and fears exist of a serious crash in these markets if the situation is not managed carefully.
The outlook for economy in the face of the continued decline in all economic sectors remains dismal. It is difficult to understand the recent statement from an official of the International Monetary Fund that the government is taking steps to foster the recovery of the economy when there are no signs of any such coherent program.
Employment activity also remains depressed and there are no indications that the rapid fall in formal sector employment has been slowed down. By the end of March 2002, it was estimated that a third of all formal sector jobs had been lost in the previous two years. This staggering figure did not take into account the almost total decimation of commercial agriculture that will be affected this winter and will reduce formal sector employment by up to 300 000 jobs. Employment figures in all sectors continue to fall and this must be of grave concern to everyone.
As regards the 2002 budget, the MDC predicted that the Minister would maintain the budget deficit at about 15 per cent or less of the GDP. This estimate must now be under threat from a number of quarters – depressed revenues in real terms, higher than expected expenditure in certain areas, including food imports and the rapid fall in GDP estimates. However whatever figure is finally derived from the calculations they do not take into consideration the massive cost to the country of sub economic interest rates on state borrowings or the cost of not servicing the country’s external debt on which arrears now stand at over US$1 billion.
Zimbabwe’s domestic and external debt now exceeds US$10 billion (if domestic debt is converted at the official exchange rate). This is double annual GDP and must place the country into the category of the most indebted country in the world. What we have here is a government without a popular mandate, trying to avoid paying its debts and forcing its people to support its habit of excess and unsustainable state expenditures. There is no such thing as a “free lunch” and the truth is that we are all paying for this situation. We are paying in the form of high inflation, collapsing exchange rates and massive erosion of the countries capital stock.
In the key social sectors, all indicators will be negative – life expectancy will fall still further, infant mortality will rise, the education and health sectors will remain in a state of crisis. The exodus of key staff, poor working conditions, non-availability of imported products and shortages of all other essential inputs will bring this about. Most seriously, because of the failure to predict food shortages at an early stage and now the failure to effectively respond, famine conditions are expected and many hundreds of thousands are at risk of starvation in the months that lie ahead.  With HIV infection rates standing at over 35 per cent amongst the adult population, this is expected to trigger a spate of mortality amongst HIV/Aids victims.
In global terms this has to be the fastest decline in the quality of life and general economic welfare in any country that is not at war, in history. That may sound a bit dramatic, but similar declines in economic activity and human welfare in other countries has taken a decade or more. In Zimbabwe these terrible conditions have been created in the short space of 4 years.
In response the State has no plan, no strategy, no vision. It has nothing to offer the people but more suffering, political repression and the loss of fundamental rights taken for granted in democracies. In addition it must be recognised that many continue to thrive in this situation – people with a foreign income, individuals connected to the state and with access to the gravy train of corruption and privilege.
The Outlook for the Year 2003.
At this early stage it is impossible to make any sorts of predictions, as these must be based on the assumption of certain political parameters. However on the assumption that there will be no significant changes in the political situation or in national leadership we must take a view on what is likely to occur. Essentially this is a worse case scenario.
It is predicted at this early stage that the weather in unlikely to be kind to us in southern Africa – the El Nino effect is well established in the Pacific ocean and northern India has had a poor season so far. Long range forecasts predict therefore that the rains in this part of the world will be both unpredictable and below average. We can therefore predict lower than usual production in the communal areas which are the main source of food and cotton. In the commercial farming sector output will be below 25 per cent of normal – a tobacco crop of 50 000 tonnes is predicted and maize output will again be less than 200 000 tonnes.
MDC therefore predicts that agricultural output will fall a further 25 per cent in 2003, on top of a similar fall in output in 2002. It is unlikely that there will be any recovery in the mining sector and in fact, unless radical action is taken the gold mining industry will decline still further. Activity in the tourism and construction industries will remain very depressed although a further decline is unlikely in view of the very low levels of activity now pertaining. Industrial activity will continue to decline under the weight of declining domestic demand – especially from the farm sector.
Export activity will fall still further with total exports declining to below the US$1 billion dollar level for the first time in over 50 years. This will trigger further shortages of imported items and drive down the price of the Zimbabwe dollar on parallel markets. The continued fall in foreign exchange receipts driven by the withdrawal of all forms of foreign aid and assistance and the non availability of any lines of external credit will impinge on the maintenance of supplies of essentials such as fuel and electrical energy unless these are supplied to Zimbabwe under politically motivated contract arrangements.
Under these circumstances it is unlikely that the government can maintain even the limited services it is currently providing. All sectors of the administration will be affected and the stability of the civil administration must be called into question.  Industries that have been able to carry on despite the problems with spares and raw materials will find it increasingly difficult to do so. There will be accelerated company closures and serious shortages of many domestically produced products.
We have now experienced three years during which we have seen massive capital flight – up to US$500 million per annum in 2000, 2001 and possibly again in 2002. This coupled to low levels of savings and investment in the domestic economy means that the country is experiencing a considerable reduction in its productive capital stock. This will continue in 2003 and will create problems in terms of future recovery and growth.
If nothing radical happens in respect to the macro economic fundamentals in the country, inflation will accelerate still further and could be accompanied by the collapse of financial institutions and equity markets. The social and economic consequences of such a scenario do not bear thinking about.
There will be an accelerated loss of skills and this will exacerbate the decline in services and economic activity. It will be very difficult to maintain the tertiary education institutions and the output of trained personnel will decline.  Food shortages will persist throughout the year, the delivery of the new crop in May 2003 only having a short-term effect on food supplies and shortages re-emerging in the second half of the year.
Overall economic output will decline for the 5th year in a row and although the magnitude of the decline will be less than in 2002, it will still be significant. A good agricultural season will not enhance prospects to any great degree because of the state of the industry.
The Path to Stability and Recovery.
As expressed last year in the MDC’s Economic Recovery Program (the Bridge) the fundamental requirements for a reversal to this catastrophic decline in the countries economy remain the same: -
1. A full and unconditional return to the rule of law.
2. The restoration of a legitimate, democratic government which respects basic human, social and economic rights as well as the rights of freedom of expression and assembly.
3. The creation of a sound macro economic environment which is predictable and will encourage investment and production throughout the economy.
4. The adoption and implementation of a land reform program which will address historical imbalances whilst enhancing our export industries and food security.
5. The adoption of foreign policies which will ensure we respect out international obligations and can again command respect and support from the global community.
4th August 2002
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Zim Standard

      The death and burial of devaluation

      crestacalling By Shingi Munyeza

      WHEN President Mugabe was opening the third session of the Fifth
Parliament of Zimbabwe he announced the death of Devaluation. Of course for
some of us who have been monitoring the illness of Devaluation, it was clear
that he was suffering from a terminal illness.

      We also know that a couple of the doctors who had been working on
Devaluation had come up with some cure which had not been tried before, but
the Superintendent could not authorise its use since it had not been
approved. It had been assessed that Devaluation had the solution to most

      What needs to be understood is that the death of Devaluation should
also be followed by his proper burial. Many would obviously want to have
Devaluation declared a hero, but key decision makers think that all he
deserves is no more than a pauper's burial because they attribute the
current misery to him. The debate on the hero status of Devaluation has led
to the delay in his burial.

      What has since happened is that one of the doctors who was working day
and night to save Devaluation's life has done a test on what Devaluation
could have done - however this appears to be a very controlled experiment
which does not take into consideration all the aspects that affect the
survival of Devaluation. You know what doctors are like, particularly when
they come up with new medicine; they would like it tried even if it means
using rats and mice for the experiment, although everyone knows that rats
and mice are different from human beings.

      Whilst it looks as if there should have been a hero's burial for
Devaluation based on his popularity, the authorities would prefer a private
cremation so that there would be no such miracle as Devaluation rising from
the dead.

      Those of us in the tourism industry had also been experimenting on a
few things to ensure the survival of Devaluation. Some of us had been seeing
n'angas by night who prescribed medicine for Devaluation without the
necessary approval of the doctors. It is believed that this medicine from
the n'anga has partly caused the death of Devaluation according to the post
mortem results just released. However, those who went to the gata were told
that there is an avenging spirit, ngozi, that is at work in the family. It
is understood that this avenging spirit is of a certain settler who came
from far away, and occupied land for farming which he bequeathed to
generations after him. It is this land that has since been taken over by the
family which owned it before the settler came. The n'anga has recommended
that we go back to where this settler came from and ask for forgiveness.

      It has been understood that those of us in the tourism industry are
worried because Devaluation was going to help many of us survive, but it is
reliably understood that many are already in the intensive care unit and
might follow the same way as Devaluation. What is difficult to deal with at
the moment is the spirit of Devaluation, which is out there and we all need
to deal with it before it turns into a ghost, which is likely to terrorise
us in the future. His ghost has been seen at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority,
Zimbabwe Tobacco Association and the Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines. Currently it
is suspected that his ghost has visited the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, but
the chief executive denied having seen it.

      It is therefore important to bury Devaluation immediately otherwise
the presence of a fully decomposed body will be unacceptable and might
attract vultures and many such scavengers.

      Relatives of Devaluation are currently leaving under fear of
victimisation, which means they might not even attend the burial of one of
their gallant sons. It was made clear that supporters of Devaluation are
enemies of the state. It is also feared that the disease that eventually
caused the death of Devaluation is hereditary, which means that family
members might also follow suit. Apparently the two doctors who had been
treating Devaluation are also the family doctors. Initial tests have shown
that all the members of the family have the same recessive gene that causes
the sickness which led to Devaluation's death.

      Both doctors have ascertained that the disease is curable only if huge
doses of certain types of medicines are taken immediately. These types of
medicines are available from North Africa and the Far East. As we bury
Devaluation, let us remember the family that has been left behind which is
likely to follow suit.

      Shingi Munyeza is the Group Commercial Director for Cresta
Hospitality. Cresta Hospitality manages 13 hotels in Southern Africa.
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Zim Standard

      Standard Comment

      IN the wake of what' s happening in this country, Zimbabweans are
wondering how it all began and why it has been allowed to reach this
disastrous stage.

      We created a monster 15 years ago when the executive presidency was
established by changes to the constitution. Centralisation of power in the
presidency was at the heart of this constitutional amendment, including the
power to declare war. With all this, the powers of parliament were severely
eroded-and the institution of cult leadership was born.

      Untrammelled power is dangerous, no matter how good and heroic a
person once was. It is equally dangerous to reduce genuine national
struggles to the heroism of a single national leader. President Mugabe was
not the struggle for Zimbabwe's independence-he was merely a part of it-and
its success did not depend on him, no matter how inspiring he may have been
at the time.

      Indeed, for over 100 years, this country benefited from the work of
priests, brothers and sisters, teachers, nurses, social workers and even the
occasional enlightened civil servant. That means it is blinkered arrogance
for the current crop of leaders to assume everything began with the war

      Our mistake as Zimbabweans was to forgive bad governance while the
economy was on even keel and while political mischief affected only a few.

      With the economy now crumbling, we've all become victims of the
nightmare that Zimbabwe has become. Our lack of involvement is coming back
to bite us where it hurts most and now we're all affected as our country
faces its worst ever crisis.

      What was a problem for minorities facing discrimination, subtle or
brutal, is now a problem for everyone. It is no longer a problem just for
the Ndebele, for the Ndau and for whites-all equally Zimbabwean-but for the
entire country.

      Authoritarianism has triumphed. Our political landscape is now
characterised by political, racial and tribal intolerance. There is
administrative incompetence, corruption and a staggering arrogance of power
at every turn, all of which is forcing Zimbabwe into regression and into the
dark ages.

      As if that were not enough, there are no checks and balances in
Zimbabwe's governance. How else can one explain the dictatorial if not
monarchical statement by the president: "We will defy judges' sentences if
they are not objective." Whose objectivity and for whom? In an environment
where the courts are independent of government control, no person can lay
claim to the final word. History will judge such a person harshly-but more
to the point, so will the people.

      Actually, the president's statement could prove a double-edged sword.
If he can defy the courts, so can others in the future-in ways that will
work not only to his detriment but to that of his courtiers as well.

      As someone famous once said, power corrupts and absolute power
corrupts absolutely. We are now paying a preposterous price for our
shortsightedness and docility since 1980.

      Unemployment has hit 70% and people are so hungry that they are
foraging in garbage dumps and the bush for food. The country is reaping a
bitter and tragic harvest due to the lack of a strong and vibrant civil
society from the very beginning of this sad experiment in liberation

      Even now, civil society remains divided and all too often motivated by
personal glory. Protests, absurdly planned for city centres, never succeed.

      That no one, no organisation, has looked to South Africa for examples
of successful protest is extraordinary-and they never even left the

      Zimbabwe is now a shocking image of innocence and impotence, of
tyranny and madness. The progression became evident in the first decade or
so of our well-won independence.

      One of the critical tests of the solidity of mass support for any
political party is its ability to conduct open self-criticism. If it is not
afraid of its constituents, it can afford to admit its mistakes, explain the
errors that produced untenable positions and suggest how a new course can be

      Occupying high political office in the land means that you are the
servant of the people, and not their master. The peaceful lesson of all this
terrible and unnecessary suffering is that never again must Zimbabweans give
so much power to one man-never again can we create an all-powerful

      More than anything, Zimbabwe needs to limit the presidency to two
terms in the post-Mugabe era. And there will be one, because tyranny never
survives for ever. We need to establish a culture of smooth transition of
leaders, much as most western nations have done. And despite the absurd
protestations of Zanu PF's creaking propaganda machine, just because
something is western does not mean it is evil and 'unAfrican'. There are
some things that are universally true, and governance is one of them.

      There is nothing European about freedom and openess. Truth is truth
whether you are in Europe or Africa. Zimbabweans deeply care about freedom
and democracy just like anyone else.

      There is an enormous amount of work facing Zimbabweans in the
post-Mugabe era. Not least of which will be the purging of
politically-motivated government departments, the establishment of a
non-partisan police force, the reestablishment of a defence force that is
above politics-and the people's full involvement to prevent the resurgence
of dictatorship and tyranny.

      All this can be achieved-and whoever governs next needs to know now
that the sort of behaviour that Zimbabweans have allowed in the past,
culminating in what is known worldwide as 'The Zimbabwe Crisis' will never
be allowed again.

      In the future, Zimbabweans will refuse to be accountable to their
government, but demand, quite rightly, that their government is accountable
to them.

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Zim Standard


       Country gone mad

      WHAT does one do when someone goes mad, becomes totally insane? What
does one do when not a shred of rationality is left, and only drooling
gibberish comes from their mouths?

      What can one do when this insanity grips an entire country?

      The state president waffles on about plots and counter plots, about
how drought has caused starvation-but his holy principles won't let the
people be fed by well-wishers he disapproves of (or who disapprove of him,
which is almost everyone.) The country is on its knees, yet he and his
fellow inmates rave on about racism in private schools and the possible
health effects on the starving people of accepting GM maize.

      In this mad nation the population accept rule by a totally illegal
'government'. The general election wasn't flawed; it was a very sick joke.
How can one claim to be democratically elected when you got there by killing
and beating all opposition, barring them from campaigning and then stuffing
the ballot boxes? The presidential elections were an even greater farce. So
here we have a country with no legally elected government and no legally
elected president. At least a straightforward military coup is an open and
honest use of force-this was a coup by force also, but by deception and
deceit. A dishonest coup sums it up.

      In this mad nation the police raid wholesalers and confiscate their
stocks, on the orders of a senile and illegitimate head of state. Blame is
everywhere except where it belongs. In this mad nation the police arrest and
charge those who report crimes while assisting those who commit them.
Criminals are openly used to further the ends of the elite, and are then
surprised when they are dumped. Victims of state abuse plead and co-operate
with the same state.

      Where has this happened other than under the worst excesses of Hitler,
Stalin and during the Chinese Cultural Revolution? Possibly even in these
crazy states the madness was not as total as it now is in Zimbabwe? Hitler
did not deliberately starve his people, and Stalin at least had some sort of
mad plan. What's happening now is totally arbitrary, the only discernible
pattern being the further enrichment of the rich. Yet because it happens
gradually, on a day-by-day basis the people accept it as normal.

      Equally amazing is that a group of thugs calling themselves 'war
veterans' who claim to have "liberated the country from colonial oppression"
are now running amok. Could this ever have been a just cause if these
savages are its heroes? Why is there no group fighting this present far more
oppressive and racist gang of thugs?

      Why are there no 'boys in the bush' fighting for what is right,
fighting for justice, sanity and prosperity? It leads one to assume that the
'liberation struggle' was not that at all, but that these thugs were used as
cat's-paws by the communist states in their struggle for world domination
and their leader's unquenchable

      Lust for power and plunder. This theory carries all the more weight
when one considers the total contempt, if not fear, these states felt
towards democratic ideals. They are now being recycled and used again as
mindless pawns while the few genuine 'freedom fighters' who fought for
justice and democracy go in fear of their lives or have had to flee the

      The state of Zimbabwe is now mad, totally mad and totally insane. When
a dog, hyena or jackal is infected with rabies there is only one solution.
Because the disease cannot be cured the animal must be destroyed as soon as
possible. Some form of rabies has certainly infected those who rule
Zimbabwe, because like rabid dogs they foam at the mouth and run around
biting everything in sight including the hands that feed them.

      Is there any way to stop this madness?

      Charles Fritzell

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Zim Standard

      MDC, Zanu PF blast public media

      By Grey Moyo

      BULAWAYO-In a rare show of consensus, both Zanu PF and MDC politicians
in Matabeleland region were unanimous in blasting the public media last week
for misleading the nation on issues of critical importance, The Standard can

      Speaking at a workshop in Bulawayo called to harmonise relations with
media practitioners and parliamentarians and local government officials,
politicians from the two warring parties took turns to condemn the ZBC, The
Herald, The Chronicle, The Sunday Mail and The Sunday News for manufacturing
and spreading falsehoods.

      Directing his address at members of the public media who attended the
workshop, boycotted by junior information minister Jonathan Moyo,
Bulilimamangwe South MP, Edward Mkhosi, of MDC said:

      "Your challenge is to regain credibility. You have nothing left in
terms of respect. You don't even know you are making us heroes through your
lies, distortion, exaggeration and character assassination. Why don't you
tell things as they are? We have no policy to bar you from our meetings
except of course those of you whom we know are professional liars. No one
welcomes such people."

      He noted that special projects editors had been recruited at state
media with a clear mandate to manufacture lies.

      Some of the lies included a report by The Chronicle which claimed that
MDC wanted to bomb buildings and march to the State House in the ensuing

      Rido Mpofu, the Zanu PF executive mayor for Gwanda, also attacked the
"Zanunised" media for allowing itself to be manipulated by politicians,
citing a recent stage-managed demonstration by some residents, rented by a
powerful local Zanu PF politician.

      "It only came out later that the politician sped to the ZBC offices
where he commandeered a reporter and cameraman to cover the demonstration.
When I spoke to the residents, it turned out that they had been used to
demonstrate against me. What I am saying is that public media should not be
used as tools against people," he said.

      In a speech read on his behalf, Stephen Nkomo, the governor of
Matabeleland South, challenged the media to do away with propaganda.

      "You are the mirror of society, therefore you cannot afford to be the
propaganda mouthpiece of anyone. As the old adage goes, the pen is mightier
than the sword, but I would like you to reverse that to read 'let the sword
not cut its own master'," said Nkomo.

      In the past two years, state-owned media has stepped up its campaign
to spread false information meant to prop up Zanu PF's waning political

      Several professionals have been fired at state-owned newspapers and
the ZBC by Moyo who has ordered staffers to churn out Zanu PF propaganda on
a daily basis.

      Much of what is written in the state-controlled papers is allegedly
written by Jonathan Moyo himself.

      Former Matabeleland governor, Welshman Mabhena, said any reasonable
person could see that Zanu PF was crumbling, thanks to the efforts of people
like this junior minister Moyo.

      "As we speak Zanu PF is dead and this attempt to manipulate people's
minds by Jonathan and his propaganda outfits will not save it," said

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Zim Standard

      What went wrong in Kadoma?

      (Newsfocus By Walter Marwizi)

      FOR over a year, the opposition MDC political juggernaut cruised past
five urban centres in Zimbabwe, transforming the Zimbabwean urban political
landscape that had been dominated by the ruling Zanu PF party for 20 years.

      The opposition tide, capitalising on a rising wave of discontent
against a ruling party that has failed to effectively govern the nation,
seemed unstoppable as it relegated the once mighty Zanu PF to village
politics-where many disgruntled Zimbabweans strongly feel it belongs.

      First to succumb to the MDC tide was Masvingo, followed by Bulawayo,
the country's second largest city.

      Chegutu, a small town located a few kilometres from President Mugabe's
Kutama village, also fell to the MDC before Harare, the capital city and its
dormitory town, Chitungwiza, followed suit.

      This performance by the opposition party left many people convinced
that whatever chicanery Zanu PF used, as it had done in the past, the old
party would lose any urban election to the MDC.

      But just last week that seemingly invincible MDC juggernaut came to an
abrupt halt in Kadoma.

      Fanie Phiri, the Zanu PF candidate, polled 6 886 votes to beat MDC's
Editor Matamisa who got 6 214 votes.

      This small victory sent the Zanu PF propaganda machinery, starved of
success stories in recent urban elections, into a frenzy.

      The machinery that includes ZBC, The Herald, The Sunday Mail and The
Chronicle started singing a funeral dirge for the opposition party that
poses a clear danger to Zanu PF's hopes of ruling this country forever.

      Nelson Chamisa, MDC national youth chairman, blamed intimidation and
violence that characterised the whole electoral process for the party's

      In the run up to the two day poll, the notorious Zanu PF militia,
commonly referred to as 'Green Bombers', descended on the small town and
laid siege to the hapless populace.

      Several MDC supporters were assaulted by the militia as it disrupted
campaign programmes by the opposition party, including a rally that was
scheduled to be addressed by MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai.

      On the first day of the election, the MDC command centre came under
attack from 'Green Bombers' who beat up personnel manning the process.

      Said Chamisa: "Kadoma residents were faced with two options: Either to
vote for Zanu PF for their personal security or to vote MDC and face the
wrath of the militia. The challenge facing the MDC is to mobilise people to
vote against Zanu PF in the face of increasing violence.''

      MDC secretary-general, Welshman Ncube, in an statement, said his party
lost because the will of the people was not allowed to prevail. "We reject
the results of the Kadoma mayoral election as a complete fraud. In the same
manner that Zanu PF has repeatedly stolen the people's victory in past
elections, the full Zanu PF machinery was involved in constructing a warped
victory against a genuine expression by the people of Kadoma... he said.

      Other people of Kadoma, however, blamed the opposition party for the
election defeat.

      "The party chose Editor Matamisa, the wife of Silas Matamisa, the MDC
Mashonaland West provincial chairman, at the last minute and ditched Daniel
Mugomba, the candidate who commanded respect among the electorate. The party
failed to realise that the electorate could not be taken for granted," said
party faithful who preferred not to be named.

      But Zanu PF believes its victory, albeit narrow, was genuine and a
precursor of what is to come for the MDC in future elections.

      Said Phillip Chiyangwa, the Zanu PF chairman for Mashonaland West:
"Today we have started a long journey, which is going to see the elimination
of the opposition MDC from holding any seat at mayoral polls in urban

      Phiri, the victorious Zanu PF candidate, was equally optimistic: "I am
so delighted and this is the end of MDC. MDC is dead and buried."
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From ZWNEWS, 4 August

Dulini-Ncube returned to hospital

Police late yesterday returned Fletcher Dulini-Ncube to his hospital bed, having detained the Bulawayo MP all day in custody. Dulini-Ncube had been taken by members of the Law and Order Section from the Mater Dei hospital early on Saturday, where he was recovering from a surgical operation to remove one of his eyes on Friday. A doctor’s report, detailing Dulini-Ncube’s medical condition, and the severe danger to him of secondary infection if he was kept out of hospital, was given to the police at 11 am, but the police nevertheless kept him in custody all day. Dulini-Ncube is understood to have been in extreme pain during his time in custody. An application for bail will be pursued by his lawyers on Monday. The state accuses Dulini-Ncube of being implicated in the murder of Cain Nkala, a Matabeleland war veterans’ leader, in November 2001.

An application for indictments against Dulini-Ncube, Sony Masera, and Army Zulu to be quashed was thrown out by High Court Judge Chiweshe on Thursday. Lawyers for the three had argued that the prosecution had no evidence linking the three with the murder apart from confessions by two other accused, which they later retracted in court, saying their confessions had been extracted under torture. Another of those arrested at the time of Nkala’s death, Simon Spooner, was also visited by Law and Order Section police yesterday. It is understood that the police questioned him in connection with the whereabouts of Army Zulu. The charges against Spooner were formally dropped two weeks ago. Dulini-Ncube and Spooner were among 14 MDC members who spent several weeks in illegal detention after Nkala’s body was found. Two of the accused, Khetani Sibanda and Sazini Mpofu, remain in prison, despite an order from Chief Justice Chidyausiku for their release.

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Comment from The Zimbabwe Standard, 4 August

Over the top

Being last on the list

Increasingly disturbed leaders in a troubled central African country are said to be preparing to hit back against sanctions imposed by unperturbed leaders of various western nations. Of particular concern is a list published by the central bank of a small muddy patch in the Irish Sea which names bad people from the troubled central African nation alongside bad people from elsewhere in the world. Meanwhile, the disinformation minister in the troubled central African nation is said to be particularly angered by the fact that his name, most of his colleagues and the young wife of the most equal of all comrades appear alongside the notorious Gossamer bin Liner on the list. Mr Bin Liner is a notorious Muslim with a price on his head. He also orchestrated the blowing up of several important buildings in North America by having aeroplanes fly into them at high speed. Mr Bin Liner's name appeared on the list, together with dozens of other less notorious Muslims, several months ahead of the leaders of the troubled central African nation, a fact that has led to some rivalry and discontent among the elite Pariah Nations' Club. The list also contains names from a strange sounding Asian country, an extremely vexed sort-of-country rich in oil and diamonds in West Africa and more notorious Muslims than most of us thought existed.

Still, the leaders of the troubled central African country are angered by the fact that their names appear at the bottom of the list, well beneath the notorious Muslims, the secretive, strange sounding Asians and the crude West Africans with all the diamonds. "It's a known fact that we should be at the top of the list," said one disturbed leader from the troubled central African country. "It's one thing to fly aeroplanes into buildings, but we'll achieve much the same result without fireballs and red mist." Meanwhile, another troubled leader vowed that the troubled central African country would respond to the sanctions in kind. "If we can't go there and shop in Harrods and Bloomingdale's, then they'd better watch out," he warned. "Right now we're devising our own plan to stop them coming here to do their shopping at MaiFattie's tuck shop-and if that doesn't send a firm message, nothing will." At this point a worried aid to the mouth-frothing leader pointed out that due to the shortage of food, MaiFattie was now known as MaiThinnie. "In that case we'll boot out all the imperialist running dog foreigners who're already here, then see what happens," said the troubled leader, while his audience wiped themselves down. "Unless they're fraternal revolutionary doctors sent over here by Comrade Fido," he added quickly.

The list caused further consternation when the first of the troubled central African nation's leaders was sent back from the muddy patch in the Irish Sea recently. After a vicious interrogation that included terrifying questions like: "Is this your name?" and "Do you know that you're not supposed to be here?" the victim was placed on an aeroplane and flown home without once being forced to crash into an important building. Leaders of the troubled central African nation pointed out that the treatment of their colleague amounted to torture and vowed to report the matter to the Pariah Nations' Club - just as soon as the Pariah Nations' Club decided where to situate themselves and who would pay the rent. Meanwhile, insiders pointed out that even inoffensive and little visited countries close to the Arctic Circle had refused access to leaders from the troubled central African nation, proving that countries famous primarily for being boring were at last sitting up and taking notice of the curious behaviour displayed by the troubled central African nation's self-appointed leaders.

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From The New York Times, 4 August

For Zimbabwe's white farmers, time to move on

Banket, Zimbabwe - This is the season for winter wheat, the time when lush, green seedlings usually blanket the earth. But these days, the roaring tractors have been silenced and many fertile farms are idle. Here in this hungry land, where the United Nations says six million people - half the population - are threatened by famine, the government of President Robert Mugabe has ordered thousands of the country's most productive farmers to stop farming. The white commercial farmers, who are among the largest producers of wheat and cornmeal, help feed the nation and fuel the economy. But they have been condemned as racists and enemies of the state because they have refused to turn over their land to the government - land that was seized from blacks during the days of British colonial rule. And now, officials say, the day of reckoning is finally at hand. By Aug. 8, the government has announced, most of the nation's white farmers must leave their farms for good. As the deadline approaches, many farmers are packing their bags. The threatened expulsion of 2,900 white farmers has shaken a country already reeling from drought, a collapsing economy and the political violence condoned by an increasingly authoritarian government. Some say officials are punishing the farmers for financing the opposition in the presidential election last March, an election that most Western officials believe was rigged to ensure Mr. Mugabe's victory. Others say that Mr. Mugabe, 78, who came to power in the 1980 election that ended white rule, is desperate to secure a place in African history as the revolutionary who returned the land to his impoverished people.

Officials of the World Bank and Western governments agree land should be redistributed in Zimbabwe, where the legacy of colonialism has left a tiny white minority with more than half the fertile soil. Whites make up only 1 percent of the population. But farmers and foreign donors have balked at participating in this program, which has been dogged by violence and cronyism ever since it was revived two years ago in what is widely viewed as a tactic to bolster Mr. Mugabe's waning popularity. Prominent politicians loyal to Mr. Mugabe now control scores of fertile farms while many poor blacks are stranded on arid stretches without adequate water or sanitation. The government, which claims to have acquired more than 5,000 properties, actually has title deeds to fewer than 100, recent statistics show. As government-backed militants have swept across the country, invading the farms in the past few years, several white farmers and dozens of black farm workers have been killed while thousands of other black laborers have been evicted and left homeless. The government has refused to pay white farmers for their properties, saying it will not pay for land stolen by British settlers. Britain has agreed to finance a well-run land redistribution program, but not the one that is currently in place. So farmers who are forced off their properties receive nothing right now for the land they have lost. The United States and the European Union, which have already imposed sanctions on top officials, have criticized Zimbabwe's treatment of its farmers, and diplomats here are quietly pressuring officials to reconsider their stance. It is still unclear how the government will actually deal with whites who defy the deadline. Some officials have threatened to crack down, while others have promised to be lenient with farmers who agree to give up some of their land. But recently officials arrested 16 white farmers for continuing to farm past June 24 - the date when most farmers were ordered to stop working - leaving little doubt that some hard-liners are willing to force citizens to endure even greater hardships as they struggle to redraw the colonial map.

Meanwhile, the exodus of whites from Zimbabwe's farms is quickening. In July, Adrian Wilkinson was loading his belongings into his Isuzu pickup truck, trying to beat the government deadline. In normal years, he grows about 740 acres of winter wheat. This year, he will produce no wheat at all. Militants threatened him when he tried to plant. A few weeks ago, they barricaded him and his wife inside their farmhouse, pounding on the doors and singing for blood. So the Wilkinsons have decided to give up their 3,000-acre farm, where they grew tobacco, soybeans and corn, and the red brick farmhouse where they raised their children and savored the best years of their lives. "On Monday, I took out my stove and my dishwasher," said Mr. Wilkinson, 50, who plans to live off his savings in a smaller house in town, where whites feel more secure. "Today, I'm going to take out this washing machine and the tumble dryer." He staggered under the weight of the washing machine and then wandered wistfully through his emptying house, choosing what would stay and what would go. He chose the two white highchairs, where his grandchildren used to squirm and wiggle, and his wife's satiny red slippers. A swivel chair. Two toasters. Ten blue-tinted wine glasses and a matching pitcher. Mr. Wilkinson did not weep when he locked the door and turned his back on his red roses and tiger lilies. But under the surface, desperation simmers. He swallows what he calls "happy pills" to get through the day without drowning in rage or sorrow. At night, he takes sleeping pills. He has consulted a counselor to cope with the anger that boils up inside, particularly when he thinks about the government's refusal to pay him for his property. He had dreamed of retiring, but not like this. "Am I angry?" he asked. He clenched his steering wheel as he drove past the palm trees, the metal gate and his empty fields. He has lived at this farm all his life. "I'm not against black advancement, but this is my life; it's my home," he said finally. "I'm losing everything." Over the past two years, as the farm invasions spread, about 15 percent of the country's white farmers have left their properties, according to the Commercial Farmers Union, which represents about 3,500 white farmers.

By May, about 30 percent of commercial farms had stopped producing altogether because of threats from government-backed militants, the union said. The combination of land seizures and this year's severe drought has been disastrous. In 1999, agriculture accounted for 20 percent of Zimbabwe's domestic product, the World Bank says. A year later, the figure had dropped to 11 percent, and experts say it has continued to decline. The production of corn - the country's staple food - plunged by nearly 70 percent this year, the United Nations says. It predicts that the production of winter wheat, which is harvested in October, will be down by as much as 40 percent. With the situation so dire, white farmers are increasingly questioning whether they have a future in Zimbabwe. At the Banket country club, where dozens of farmers met recently to consider their options, union leaders pleaded with members to stay put. "We've been harassed and terrorized for political gain, but we are still all Zimbabweans here," said Ian Barrett, who represents the farmers who produce cooking oil. "We're still here! We're still strong!" But everyone agrees that holding on is difficult. In the town of Chiredzi, where 16 farmers were arrested for continuing to farm, most of the men have vowed to defy the deadline. They are hiring extra guards and bracing themselves for the worst. Officials have warned that farmers who defy the deadline will be arrested, tried and sentenced to two years in jail or a $363 fine.

Alain Faydherbe, 37, has decided that no matter what happens on Aug. 8, he will move to Mozambique, where officials are inviting white farmers to work that country's undeveloped land. Militants, known as war veterans because many fought against white rule, have invaded his farm and beaten his workers. "I've got three little kids," Mr. Faydherbe said. "Every time they hear a vehicle they ask if it's the war vets. They're afraid to sleep in their own rooms." John Nkomo, the home affairs minister, denied that officials have been mistreating the white farmers. He attributed the violence to a handful of criminals. He said the deadline was necessary to deal with farmers who have refused to turn over underused sections of their farms. "We have to deal with this land matter once and for all," Mr. Nkomo said. "As far as we are concerned, we are correcting an injustice." In the impoverished village of Chikhovo, where hundreds of hungry people waited hours to receive cornmeal from the charity World Vision, many seemed doubtful. They agreed that officials should right the historical wrongs that left blacks stranded on crowded, rocky soil. But Lloyd Tafirenyasha, who scrapes by on one bowl of porridge a day, said he could not understand how farmers could be evicted while millions of Zimbabweans were going hungry. "We wake up in the morning with no food," said Mr. Tafirenyasha, 18. "We need help. Those who are good in agriculture, they should continue. Those white farmers, they must stay for now."

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This was a message from a friend in Harare:

Just been to TM in Newlands and these are some of their prices. They are
about the cheapest in town and I was surprised to see some are even less
than at Jaggers which is supposed to be wholesale!

All in Zim dollars
Cashel Valley baked beans      141
200Kleenex tissues                  700
4 rolls ''   loo paper                  1485
Mrs Balls Chutney  470g          855
Border Streams chutney           203
Rabroy Tomato sauce              505
2 Eveready torch batteries        700
small roll Scotch tape               1175
6 candles                                 200
750mls Sunlight liquid              608
Vim                                         117.40c
Staysoft fabric softener             1030
1kg Skip wash powder            1630
1dozen eggs                             322
Gouda cheese     1kg               1600
smalltub yogurt                         95
500g viennas                            665
400g Colcom chippolatas         600
500g pork sausages                 625,30c
500g lean bacon                      1326
500g Stork marg                      260
500g Mooi River butter            1186  (ours is mostly exported!)
5kg dogmeal                            1208
Kellogs Rice Krispies               1045
'"    "   Special K                       1800
Willards Cornflakes                  280
"  "         Bran flakes                 385
Ideal milk                                  850
Mitchells Highlanders                145  (shortbread biscuits)
Bakers Eet sum Mor                 389 ( "           " )
Chockits                                   529
Pro Vita crisp bread                  333.10c
Iris choc wafers                        120
Bakers Marie                           259
Local Marie                             59.80c
peanut butter                            690 (!)
Marmite                                   1180
Bovril                                       1328
Ryl Marmalade                         328
12 Tampax                               600
deo                                 +or - 800
Vo5 shampoo                          1172
conditioner                               1172
Large Colgate toothpaste          339
Amarula liqueuer                       1850
JC le Roux sp wine                   2100
Johnnie Walker redlabel            4500
Black and White                       3900
Glen Eagle whisky                     1438.55c
Viceroy brandy                         1380
Smirnoff vodka                         1150
Drambuie                                  6562. 95c
Baileys                                      4695
Kahlua                                      6482.95c
Southern Comfort                      4841
Gilbeys gin                                 1150
Gilberts gin                                 552
Cadbury's Nutties                       551
Hunters Gold                              175
Coke                                          110
tin "                                             135
TIn TOmatoes                             132
250g Nesquik                              235
50 Tanganda Tea bags                 157
200g Nescafe                               2087
600g chicken breasts                   498
360g mince                                  252
Prestige 12 cup baking patty pan  3040
Steam iron                                   13880
4 slice toaster                               20260
Philips Kettle                                10700
2kg Gloria flour                             257
So if you take the minimum wage as about 15000,  domestics a third of that,
you can see the problems,  but if you take a pound as 1000 Zimdollars
everything is very cheap!  Local stuff is still very reasonable compared
to imported but still beyond the majority.  No prices for oil sugar or
mealie meal as none inthe shop but you can get 10kgs mealie meal for
1200 2kgs sugar for 600 500g salt for 300 on the very 'black' market
(vendors outside all the supermarkets!!!!) Sorry everything higgeldy
piggeldy but that was how the shelves were!!!!
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Doctors' Pay Up 37pc

The Herald (Harare)

August 3, 2002
Posted to the web August 3, 2002

Ivy Ncube

The Government has awarded junior and middle level doctors a single hefty
package of 37 percent salary increment and a fixed overtime allowance of
$108 000, bringing the total average monthly gross pay to $196 000.

Consultants or specialist doctors, medical superintendents and provincial
medical directors will now get $392 000 per month.

The doctors' new basic salary would now be $88 000 per month from $54 000.

The Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare, Dr David Parirenyatwa,
announced the new salary scale yesterday and also handed over the doctors'
on-call allowance arrears dating back to January.

New salary structures for other health personnel will be announced within
the coming week.

However, the Hospital Doctors Association (HDA) said last night that after
consultations, doctors would not go back to work because there was no
written commitment on the offer by the Govern-ment.

"We consulted with our members based at district hospitals because they are
the ones who work more overtime and they are not happy with the fixed
on-call allowance because they work more hours," said HDA president Dr
Howard Mutsando.

He also said that there was nothing in writing.

Dr Parirenyatwa told the doctors that the offer had been reached after
extensive consultations with senior doctors and "to some extent" the HDA.

He said several issues were taken into account, including looking back at a
time when the structure in the medical profession "had proper hierarchy" and
factored in issues like cost of living adjustment.

The Government had also decided to do away with the current cumbersome
system where doctors claimed on-call allowances at the end of every month.

Dr Parirenyatwa said on average, a doctor would claim $90 000 on-call
allowance per month but this has since been fixed at $108 000 basing on the
new salaries.

"We did not only look at doctors because this would have created problems.
We looked at all health workers and tried to come up with a logical
structure," said Dr Parirenyatwa.

Urging the doctors to resume work, Dr Parirenyatwa said the offer was a
starting point and should pave way for further negotiations.

"We are convinced this is the way to go and we can finalise the other issues
with you aboard before we submit the proposals to the Ministry of Finance
and Economic Development for implementation," added Dr Parirenyatwa.

Junior and middle-level doctors went on full-scale strike last Friday after
three weeks of not performing overtime duties in protest over unpaid on-call
allowances and to force the Government to review their salaries which they
said were pathetic.

On average, doctors were earning $54 000 per month and most were being
cushioned by on-call allowances, which on a good month, would be three times
a doctor's basic salary.

However, early this year, the Public Service Commission had decided to put a
ceiling on the amount, which was not supposed to exceed the gross salary.

This is the 13th strike by doctors since the early 1990s when they started
confronting the Government on the need to review their basic salaries and
improve their conditions of service.
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From Washington File (US State Department), 2 August

Former White House official slams Mugabe for "perfect crime"

Washington - Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu PF party have "committed the perfect crime," robbing citizens of their political rights while at the same time turning the "breadbasket of Southern Africa" into an economic wreck facing famine, says former White House official John Prendergast. Prendergast, a program officer with the International Crisis Committee (ICG), a non-governmental (NGO) human rights organization, served as a special adviser on African conflicts to the State Department and was a director of African Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) in the 1990's during President Clinton's Administration. He has written six books on Africa, including a study of Sudan: God, Oil & Country: Changing the Logic of War in Sudan, published recently by ICG. He participated in a "Forum on Zimbabwe: Post Election Crisis," sponsored by the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa in cooperation with Howard University's Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center. National Summit President Leonard Robinson said the July 30 discussion was timely, in part, because of the rapid decline of grain production in Zimbabwe - "Once characterized as the breadbasket of Southern Africa." Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter Kansteiner III also spoke on the panel stressing that U.S. policy toward Zimbabwe is based on a set of principles that have remained consistent. He said, "Those principles are: democracy, human rights, civil liberties and economic freedoms. That's what drives our interests and policies towards Zimbabwe.

"That said, the regime now headed by Mugabe in fact is not living up to those principles," Kansteiner told the panel. "They are not committed to free and fair elections, as we saw [in the recent presidential election]. They clearly don't abide by a notion of human rights that we find acceptable. And they are not terribly concerned about civil liberties. So, we've got a strained relationship with the government right now." Kansteiner stressed that "doesn't mean we have no relationship. In fact,....we have some 50,000 metric tons of food that have gone in to help the people of Zimbabwe from the people of the United States. So, there is a practical dialogue on a number of these issues, particularly the humanitarian and food issues, but we do have large problems in our relationship with the government." Prendergast spoke derisively of Mugabe and Zanu PF, noting both should be congratulated for a series of "perfect crimes;" the first of which was the stealing of the last presidential election held earlier this year. After using state power to intimidate the political opposition and the nation's judiciary, "the ruling party remains the ruling party and the President remains the president for another six years," he asserted. "The second of the perfect crimes," said the human rights activist, is "the theft of most of Zimbabwe's most valuable assets. For example, land. If there was a genuine effort to redistribute by the government since independence then one could consider current actions in a much more understanding light," he said. "Instead, the regime only made land an issue when it needed an issue to campaign on and it is now grabbing up many of the choice properties and doling out these estates to Zanu PF leaders."

Continuing, Prendergast said, "the third and perhaps most elegant of these perfect crimes is the theft of Congo's (DRC) minerals. Rather than contributing to efforts to resolve Congo's wars, Zimbabwe exacerbated them by supporting the Rwandan Hutu militias in their continued effort to destabilize Rwanda; thus keeping the war on a slow burn and justifying Zimbabwe's continued intervention in Congo, which is a brilliant cover-up of the huge mining interests of Zimbabwe's generals and politicians." "The fourth of the perfect crimes," added the former White House official, is "turning a profit on [Zimbabwe's] economic collapse and famine. One of the crucial requirements to stabilize the economy now would be to allow the foreign exchange rate to float rather than keeping it fixed at an artificial and absurdly low level" as is currently done. "They won't do that because key Zanu officials are making lots of money in the currency market, effectively trading on human suffering."

Prendergast, who traveled to Zimbabwe and observed its controversial presidential elections earlier this year, said, "the fifth of the perfect [Mugabe Zanu PF] crimes was the destruction of Zimbabwe's independent voices. The government has systematically punished supporters of the [political] opposition through rape, murder, torture and intimidation. It's gone after members of the media and NGOs who try to speak out on issues of concern. It has broken the back of some of the key mass organizations in Zimbabwe." The former official said, "there are many other crimes that have been perpetrated in Zimbabwe over the last few years, perhaps not as perfect as the ones I've just mentioned, but all with one common denominator - that is they [Mugabe and Zanu PF] got away with it. There have been hardly any consequences." On the other hand, Prendergast said the consequences for the people of Zimbabwe have been severe. "There is no compensation for the victims - for the hundreds of thousands of black farmers, workers and laborers made homeless" by the regime's expropriation of land. The economy has been devastated by the regime's intervention into the market and "has now produced some of the highest unemployment rates on the continent." At the same time, the nation now faces a famine that "has produced rates of deprivation and hunger that are unrivaled, at this point, throughout southern Africa in the midst of its own drought." He concluded: "Things are bleak for the people of Zimbabwe but it is not hopeless."

Rebutting Prendergast, Zimbabwean Ambassador Simbi Mubako said many of his nation's problems were a legacy of colonialism, which the Mugabe regime had worked hard to overcome. For example in education, "before independence Zimbabwe had only one university with 1,000 students. Now we have 10 universities" with many thousands of students. "This is an achievement of the last 22 years," he emphasized. The regime's land reform scheme - characterized as a disastrous "fast-track" grab of property outside the legal process by Malik Chaka, a staff consultant to the Subcommittee on Africa in the U.S. House of Representatives who also participated in the discussion, was fair because it was land that earlier colonialist regimes wrested without compensation from the original African owners, Mubako indicated. As for Zimbabwe being the breadbasket of southern Africa, Mubako termed it an exaggeration and said the recent reduction in grain production was due to drought affecting the region and not to the Mugabe regime's agricultural policies. He said, "We had another severe drought I remember in my lifetime in 1947 and this was the first time we received food aid from the United States. That was colonial time and white farmers were in full control at that time." Other serious droughts followed about every ten years starting in 1962, he said, and "again we had to ask for food aid from abroad. It is not true that we had sufficient [grain] for ourselves."

Commenting on the presidential elections, Mubako said, "from the point of view of the Zimbabwean government and from the point of view of Africans, the majority of the people who observed the elections" agreed that "they were not perfect but they were certainly not stolen. I would be the first one to admit there were some flaws but I would also add that those flaws were no greater than the flaws of the elections you had in Florida." (Mubako referred to the disputed vote count in Florida after the U.S. presidential election of November 2000.) Pointing out that an election is not necessarily "stolen on the day of the vote," Malik Chaka stressed that the Mugabe regime's intimidation of the political opposition and "its use of terror" predated actual balloting by more than a year. While there was political violence on both sides, the Congressional aide said, "most blood is on Zanu PF's hands - they had the state power on their side. "The country is going down fast," Chaka concluded.

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Goods Affected By New Import Duty Gazetted

The Herald (Harare)

August 3, 2002
Posted to the web August 3, 2002

The Government yesterday gazetted the full list of vehicles and goods that will have their import duty calculated at an adjusted exchange rate of Z$300 from Z$55 against the United States dollar.

The goods and vehicles, whose import duty will increase by more than 500 percent due to the exchange rate adjustment, were published in an extraordinary Government Gazette.

The vehicles include public transporters, racing cars, vehicles for the transport of goods of a payload of less than one tonne and double cab vehicles.

Goods affected include oil fats, foodstuffs such as meat and vegetables, beverages, cigarettes, tobacco, fruits, clothes, chocolates, manufactured radios, satellite decoders, car radios and electrical appliances. The increase in duty was announced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Simba Makoni, in a $52 billion supplementary budget last week.

The hike in duty is part of measures to raise the more than $52 billion needed to finance, among other things, the procurement of inputs for newly resettled farmers, civil servants' salary adjustments and loans for students at the country's State universities.

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