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

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No relief for Zimbabwe farms
By Peta Thornycroft in Harare
(Filed: 07/08/2003)

Zimbabwe's commercial farmers held their 60th annual congress yesterday, but it was a day of heartache, gloom and tears for the dwindling band, some of whom now depend on charity to survive.

As another appeal went out for international donors to replenish emergency food stocks for almost half Zimbabwe's population, President Robert Mugabe renewed expired notices of acquisition on 152 farms yesterday, including five prime ranches in the Matabeleland province, belonging to the Oppenheimer mining dynasty of South Africa.

White commercial farmers hear nothing to lift their gloom at their 60th annual congress

Doug Taylor-Freeme, the vice-president of the farmers' union, told the meeting that Mr Mugabe's policies had destroyed the agricultural sector. "Zimbabwe continues on its downward path to economic ruin with no relief in sight," he said. Agricultural production had fallen more than 50 per cent in the past year, he added.

One farmer who survived the three-year campaign against the mainly white commercial farmers only to succumb a month ago is Bruce Stobart, 40, who was attending his last congress.

"I went into every deal available to stay on my farm, but when a mob arrived at my house and ate my son's pet rabbits, and did all the other usual stuff, we had to go, and now there is nothing, absolutely nothing I can do."

To try to stay on his farm in Mazowe, about 20 miles outside the capital, Harare, he gave two thirds of his land, about 1,600 acres, to Mr Mugabe's supporters. Last summer he ploughed for them, planted their crops and gave them technical help.

He was supported in his effort to remain on his farm by one of Zimbabwe's two vice-presidents, Joseph Msika and the local governor, Peter Chanetsa.

But it wasn't enough. Mr Stobart, his wife and three children fled after about 25 supporters of the ruling Zanu-PF party surged towards the family home, and they are now living in rented accommodation in Harare, planning to emigrate to New Zealand next January.

Until three years ago, agricultural produce accounted for 40 per cent of Zimbabwe's exports. Now it cannot sell beef to the European Union under preferential tariffs, not only because it does not have enough quality cattle left, but because the chaos allowed foot and mouth to spread across the country.

Tobacco production is down more than 60 per cent, and Zimbabwe will grow less than 10 per cent of its normal wheat production this year. "It is catastrophic," said Alan Stockil, a farmer in charge of a national evaluation committee.

"Zimbabwe will continue to slide until agriculture recovers. That is why we are gathering data for compensation for farmers. So far fewer than half of those who have been evicted have completed estimates of what they have lost. Many are too heartbroken to do so, but we are pushing them."

Out of 4,000 productive white commercial farmers three years ago, fewer than 400 remain on their land. About 300,000 black workers and their families working and living on former white commercial farms are in abject poverty, according to the union's president, Colin Cloete. They were left out of Mr Mugabe's land reform programme and are jobless, homeless and hungry.

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Mugabe's madness
(Filed: 07/08/2003)

Nothing better illustrates the madness that pervades President Mugabe's
Zimbabwe than the forlorn gathering of what remains of the country's white
farmers for their 60th annual conference. Their meeting coincided with news
that yet another 150 farms are to be taken over and transferred to members
of the ruling party and their cronies. That spells more uncultivated fields,
yet higher food prices and many more unemployed black farm workers.

As the Labour MP Kate Hoey reminded our readers last week, it is Zimbabwe's
women who suffer the worst consequences. The destruction of so many
productive farms under the false pretences of land reform has put the
country's staples of mealie meal and bread beyond most people's reach. A
loaf of bread now costs roughly one sixth of an unskilled worker's weekly
wage. So while Zimbabwe's white farmers mourn what amounts to a military
campaign waged by the state against them, bread is beyond the reach of most

With only a quarter of the 4,500 white farms in business three years ago now
actively producing, half the population depends on food aid. Grain that
white farmers are penalised for producing has to travel halfway round the
world; and when it arrives, Mugabe's activists in the ruling Zanu-PF
corruptly strive to deny it to those politically opposed to them.

In contemplating this poignant gathering of white farmers and their wives -
some of whom keep their own version of the WI going - we owe tribute to
those who valiantly carry on, not only against constant uncertainty, but
also the real possibility of violence and injury. For them, in the demonic
world of President Mugabe, the penalty for producing what Zimbabwe most
desperately needs can be death.
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The Herald

Zimbabwe maintains glitter as investment destination

Business Focus with Victoria Ruzvidzo
ZIMBABWE is going through one of its most challenging phases economically
and politically.

Developments here have attracted negative international publicity which has
affected the country in one way or the other. Furthermore, some countries
and international bodies have imposed economic sanctions to hurt the economy
even further.

However, recent developments have shown that these negative currents have
not taken all the glitter away from this country as an investment
destination for serious-minded investors.

Although foreign direct investment figures have declined over the last few
years, the first half of this year has witnessed a surge in the number of
investment missions into this country in confirmation of the fact that
Zimbabwe is still regarded as a safe-haven for investors.

Opportunities abound in mining, agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and
other sectors.

Statistics from the Zimbabwe Investment Centre show that 30 new projects
worth $7 billion were approved in the first half of the year of which 17
were joint venture projects while the balance were owned by foreign

Although the figures have declined compared to previous years, increasing
investor-interest is being reflected by the applications and inquiries.

Generally global FDI inflows have declined over the past two years .
Statistics in the 2002 World Investment Report show that FDI inflows
declined by 51 percent in 2001 while outflows decreased by 52 percent.

However, the current trend indicates that Zimbabwe is one country which will
produce positive figures this year going by the interest shown so far.

Over the past few months Zimbabwe has hosted investors from China, Iran and
Russia, all keen to do business in this country.

A Chinese company, Shanghai Baosteel International Economic and Trading
Company, is now expected to inject at least $40 billion in ferrochrome
mining after conducting successful exploration a few months ago.

This project is expected to create 2 000 jobs and hundreds others

This can only bring positive news into a country whose unemployment rate has
been rising.

Top officials from the company are expected to finalise the deal within the
next week or so.

Mining prospects have also attracted mining housing from Russia who were in
the country a few weeks ago to explore opportunities in the platinum sector.

The Russians came into the country a fortnight ago on a fact-finding mission
and said they were seriously considering investing here.

They are now working with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation which
is already engaged in exploration activities at its claims adjacent the
Zimbabwe Platinum’s Ngezi complex.

Platinum mining has become one of the fastest growing mining sectors in the

More investors have expressed keen interest to tap on the local platinum

Another investment mission from Iran was in the country recently to pursue
opportunities in coal mining. Wankie Colliery is currently the country’s
sole coal producer.

Researchers have indicated that there are more than 12 billion tonnes of
coal in Hwange which need to be explored.

The Iranians are also interested in platinum.

All this show of interest by foreign investors reflects that the country is
endowed with rich mineral resources which no amount of adverse publicity
will take away.

Foreign investors could become major players in Zimbabwe’s national economic
revival initiatives.

Foreign investment could help the country earn significant amounts of the
much needed foreign currency.

Homegrown solutions, complemented by a sprinkle of foreign investment, could
see Zimbabwe consolidate its position as a major economic powerhouse in the

The economy has been facing enormous challenges over the past few years but
these are surmountable, if the latest developments are anything to go by.
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The Herald
‘Dual fuel pricing being finalised’ ready soon

Herald Reporter
THE Government is finalising the dual fuel pricing structure and will soon
announce it, the Minister of Energy and Power Development Cde Amos Midzi
said yesterday.

Cde Midzi said the restructuring of the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe was
also on course to make the oil procurement entity efficient.

"We will announce the dual fuel pricing system shortly because we are
finalising the logistics of the system," he said.

"The main objective of the restructuring of Noczim has to do with efficiency
and the management of the oil sector."

Under the dual fuel pricing system, the Government and critical economic
areas would be able to buy cheaper fuel from Noczim than that imported by
oil companies for the general public. A spokesman for the Petroleum
Marketers Association, Mr Gordon Musarira, said they were not aware of how
the fuel dual pricing structure would operate.

"We do not know what it means and how it will affect us as oil companies. We
have been waiting for the minister to tell us what this means.

"We are still waiting for that meeting up to now, but no one is explaining
the issue to us. We do not have any information on the system," he said.

The private oil companies would have to import their own fuel for sell to
the public once the dual fuel pricing system was introduced. Noczim would
charge its own price of fuel to Government departments, parastatals and
critical areas, while the private oil companies would charge a different
price to the public.

The critical economic areas to be serviced by Noczim would include public

Negotiations were already underway between the Government and private oil
companies on several issues in preparation for the total deregulation of the

President Mugabe announced while officially opening the Fourth Session of
the Fifth Parliament last month that there would be a dual pricing structure
for fuel.

"On the other hand, Noczim, after restructuring and refocusing will be
competing with private oil companies in importing and distributing fuel
products through a dual pricing structure," said President Mugabe. The
Government recently increased the prices of petrol from $145,20 a litre to
$450 and diesel to $200 a litre from $199,43.

But some service stations were reportedly selling petrol at $1 500 a litre,
almost the same price it costs on the black market.

Zimbabwe has been facing fuel shortages since 1999 when foreign currency
shortage began affecting the country. The shortages eased after the
Government and Libya signed an agreement under which Tripoli supplied 70
percent of the country’s fuel needs.

The deal had some problems, but was renewed in June.
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The Herald

Normal rainfall patterns predicted

By Isdore Guvamombe
ZIMBABWE is set to experience normal to above normal rainfall patterns this
coming agricultural season compared to last season, the Department of
Meteorological Services predicted yesterday.

In a forecast for the 2003-2004 farming season, the Director of
Meteorological Services, Dr Amos Makarau said the weather behaviour was
pointing to a normal rainfall pattern with a bias towards an above normal

"If developments continue as predicted by models and going by the historical
behaviour of weather systems, including the El Nino phenomena, Zimbabwe
should experience a better rainfall and agricultural season next summer than
the 2002-2003 season,’’ said Dr Makarau in a statement released yesterday.

He said while the season was likely to have short droughts of up to two
weeks in between, especially in December and January, it was projected that
the season would proceed well, starting with more rainfall in October.

"Current weather patterns point to a normal rainfall season for Zimbabwe,
with a bias towards above normal. This is both in terms of amounts and
distribution of rainfall during the season.

"October is becoming more rainy and this could affect harvesting of winter
wheat as well as early-planted tobacco,’’ he said.

Although the department said the onset and cessation of these rains would
vary across the country, the projection of a good rainy season would be a
welcome development to many farmers, especially in Matabeleland where a
ravaging drought has killed about 100 000 cattle.

The projection is likely to boost the mood and confidence of new farmers who
should be fast settling down on their new plots.

Erratic rainfall patterns and intermittent droughts have been frustrating
the Government’s land reform programme and a good rainy season would
certainly boost production.

A vicious drought hit the country in the 2001-2002 farming season, plunging
the country into a critical food shortage.

The just ended 2002-2003 farming season brought mixed fortunes to the
country, allowing an improved harvest in Mashonaland and parts of the
Midlands but leaving Matabeleland and parts of Masvingo drought-stricken.

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The Herald

CFU now irrelevant, says Made

Herald Reporter
THE Commercial Farmers Union has become irrelevant to Zimbabwe because of
its ultra-racist, combative and destructive tendencies, the Minister of
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, Cde Joseph Made said yesterday.

The minister said this in the wake of the CFU congress at Art Farm yesterday
at which the white farmers are said to have "demanded" that the Government
stops "its destructive policies".

"CFU has become irrelevant to what is on the ground. In fact, the new
situation on the ground makes the Zimbabwe Farmers Union the most relevant,
followed by the Indigenous Commercial Farmers Union.

"On that one, we make no apology,’’ said Cde Made in an interview.

The CFU is said to have made a "courtesy invitation" to Cabinet ministers to
the congress.

Cde Made said in his view, the congress was about former white commercial
farmers who want to lecture to 11 million Zimbabwean about their ideas.

"There are a few remnants of former white commercial farmers, about 200 of
them, and the tendency is to lecture to 11 million Zimbabweans about the
destruction of the economy.

"Really, if we look at how they say we have destroyed the economy, you
wonder why they don’t see how they have destroyed it through their racist
view on the land issue.

"They started by exporting crops grown here, retaining forex, banking it
outside, growing flowers instead of food crops and they even slaughtered
dairy cows and now they are burning pastures,’’ said the minister.

But he said those white farmers who genuinely want to farm are free to apply
like any other person, instead of directing their energies towards fanning

"With or without the CFU congress, the agrarian reform will continue because
this is the group that has been most destructive.

"This group has played mischief all the time because they think they are a
special race. Anyway, I hope they had a nice congress."

The congress was attended by about 200 farmers. The Herald was barred from
covering the meeting.
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The Herald

RBZ set to launch travellers’ cheques

By Masimba Karikoga
THE Reserve Bank will launch the local Zimbabwe dollar travellers' cheques
tomorrow as efforts to curtail the shortage of notes that has gripped the
country in the past three months gather momentum.

The cheques, which are in higher denominations of $100 000, $50 000, $20
000, $5 000 and $1 000 are legal tender and will be accepted as payment for
goods and services at all the country's major outlets.

The cheques are printed on a bank note paper and have security features to
distinguish genuine ones from counterfeits.

These features include an embedded security thread and the Zimbabwe Bird
watermark, which can easily be viewed when the cheque is held against the

For higher level authentication the paper has fluorescent fibres visible
only under ultra violet light.

The pink colour changes to orange under ultra violet light. They also have
magnetic ink character recognition.

The travellers cheques are convenient in that they eliminate the need to
carry large quantities of bank notes.

The cheques are less bulky, safer and more convenient to carry than cash.

Central bank officials said the travellers cheques, which can only be cashed
in Zimbabwe, will initially be available in Harare and Bulawayo tomorrow and
Saturday to ensure that members of the public are not inconvenienced as they
approach the Heroes and Defence Forces Holidays.

They will be dispatched to other major centres throughout the country with
effect from next week.

"The receiver of a payment in travellers' cheques is guaranteed payment of
the value of the cheques by banks nationwide. However, the cheques are only
valid in Zimbabwe,'' an official of the Reserve Bank said last night.

Central bank officials said the travellers' cheques could be sold to account
holders or non-account holders by all financial institutions.

Recipients of the travellers' cheques will be expected to sign the cheques
when they receive them from their banks.

They will also be expected to countersign them in the presence of the
provider of goods and services for authentication of signatures and identity

Account holders will purchase as many travellers' cheques as possible
depending on the balance of their accounts.

The officials said there would be no added cost that will be passed over to
recipients of the cheques in the immediate future.

The central bank, in consultation with the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe
has already agreed that banks should abolish cash handling charges.

Travellers’ cheques are safer than real money and one can effect a stop
payment once its lost.

The Government has already introduced several measures aimed at alleviating
the shortage of bank notes.

A Cabinet taskforce chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economic
Development Dr Herbert Murerwa has been formed to look into the cash crisis.

Other members of the taskforce are the Minister of Defence Dr Sydney
Sekeramayi, Home Affairs Minister Cde Kembo Mohadi, the Minister of State
for National Security Cde Nicholas Goche and the Minister of State for
Information and Publicity Professor Jonathan Moyo.

Government officials described the latest development as timely, coming as
it does on the eve of a holiday when many people will be travelling.

"The cheques are a real alternative to cash. In fact they are better than
personal cash but are as good as a debit card."

Last week, the Government announced that it would abolish the $500 note and
introduce a new one within the next 60 days.

The Government also intends to introduce a new $1 000 note as part of
measures to deal with the shortage of bank notes.
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Mail and Guardian

Zanu-PF plagued by infighting

      David Masunda

      06 August 2003 10:54

Shuvai Mahofa, the Zanu-PF matriarch from the powerful Masvingo province,
recently let the cat out of the bag: serious tribal jockeying for President
Robert Mugabe’s post has rocked the party since it became apparent that he
might leave office before the end of the year.

Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.

Mahofa, a long-serving official in the party’s women’s league, said an
informal Zanu-PF committee, made up of some of its most powerful members,
was operating clandestinely, vetting possible candidates for Mugabe’s seat
if it becomes vacant in December, as expected.

The 79-year-old Zimbabwean president, under attack from the United States
and Britain over Zimbabwe’s current economic and political crisis, is widely
expected to leave office at that month’s crucial Zanu-PF national

Mahofa said some senior Zanu-PF members had approached her. “I was shocked
to realise that some people were already canvassing for support for certain
individuals," said Mahofa, adding that some of those involved had “dangerous
political ambitions" that threatened to divide the party along tribal lines.

While keeping mum in public, Zanu-PF officials privately admit that
discussions about Mugabe’s successor has already been marked by tribal and
regional battles.

Party officials say Karangas and Ndebeles — who form what has been termed
“the southern axis" — feel it is time one of their own came into power.

They say it would not be “feasible" for another Zezuru to succeed Mugabe.
The Zanu-PF leader is a Zezuru.

The officials say while the Ndebele and other Nguni speakers were expected
to rally behind a single candidate from their ranks, the same cannot be said
of the majority Karangas.

Eddison Zvobgo, a Karanga lawyer once considered the person most likely to
succeed Mugabe, has over the years watched helplessly as Mugabe has used his
 rivals in Masvingo to destroy his formerly formidable power base to an
extent that many believe Zvobgo is no longer a serious presidential

The sharp, US-trained lawyer with the gift of the gab, was for years
considered Mugabe’s heir apparent until the two fell out after Zvobgo
reportedly made some unflattering remarks about Mugabe’s capabilities.

A traffic accident in the late 1990s and subsequent bad health have also
conspired against Zvobgo, a highly respected legislator blamed in some
quarters though for crafting the post-independence Presidential Powers Act
that gave Mugabe unlimited power.

Although Zvobgo said recently he was in the race to succeed Mugabe, current
developments within Zanu-PF might scuttle his ambitions.

Zvobgo is being investigated for not campaigning energetically enough for
Mugabe during last year’s presidential election.

Without Zvobgo, a founder member of Zanu-PF in the early 1960s, Masvingo’s
claim to the presidency of both the party and Zimbabwe becomes rather
lightweight and inconsequential.

While the names of Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge and former Airforce
commander Josiah Tungamirai, are touted in some quarters, the duo are
considered too young and lacking in the necessary qualities to launch any
serious campaign for Mugabe’s position.

John Nkomo, the Zanu chairperson and a Cabinet minister, is perhaps the best
placed of the current top Ndebele leaders to succeed Mugabe.

A quiet, self-effacing, but calculating man, whom party insiders say has won
over Mugabe, Nkomo was the surprise compromise for the post of Zanu-PF
chairperson ahead of Mugabe’s preferred choice, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Political analysts say Nkomo, although a relative “outsider", is most likely
to win the coveted post should a stalemate arise within the warring tribes
over who should succeed the veteran nationalist.

They point out that while Nkomo’s appointment might annoy some Karangas and
Manyikas, they would probably settle for the soft-spoken politician and hope
that his tenure would be short.

Among the other senior Ndebeles in Zanu-PF, the only other person with the
kind of war credentials to be considered a possible successor to Mugabe is
former home affairs minister Dumiso Dabengwa.

Dabengwa’s problem is that although he remains a member of Zanu-PF’s
powerful politburo, his past may continue to haunt him. Dabengwa was
arrested for allegedly organising a military campaign against Mugabe just
after independence in 1980.

He is no longer a member of Mugabe’s ruling clique after a novice from the
opposition Movement for Democratic Change challenged his alleged
invincibility in Matabeland and trounced him in the 2000 general election.

That brings us back to Speaker of Assembly Mnangagwa.

Although the man considered Mugabe’s blue-eyed boy says he is not interested
in his mentor’s post, many Zimbabweans believe that the sly former
intelligence chief is playing his cards too close to the chest for comfort.

Punters for the former head of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) spy agency say Mnangagwa displays the same kind of ruthlessness that
Mugabe admires and believes can hold Zanu-PF together after his departure
from public life.

They say Mnangagwa’s love affair with commerce and industry, epitomised by
his close relationships with Zimbabwe’s new breed of black entrepreneurs,
also places him above others in the eyes of interested foreign parties such
as South Africa, the US and Britain, as well as the crucial Bretton Woods

Mnangagwa’s blemish, though, remains — he was the CIO boss who advised
Mugabe when he unleashed his North Korean-trained Five Brigade, blamed for
massacres in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces in the early 1980s.

Then, of course, there is the unpredictable Edgar Tekere. Once the
second-most powerful man in Zanu PF, Tekere — fired by Mugabe in the late
1980s — formed the now defunct Zimbabwe Unity Movement and is now reportedly
coming back into the party.

Addressing a crowd in the packed auditorium of a Harare hotel last week,
Tekere declared that he had never emotionally or “intentionally" left
Zanu-PF and revealed that there was a concerted move to lure him back, with
the offer of a very senior position.

Tekere’s critics say Zimbabweans are unlikely to have forgotten his drunken
antics, which were gleefully exposed by the government press while he was in
the Zanu-PF wilderness. Others say Mugabe believes that Tekere is not to be

Officials say, while “Twoboy" — as he is affectionately called — might bring
back nostalgia for the party’s good old days, nobody in Zanu-PF is sure how
he would behave if allowed the chance to assume the top office in the party.

Then there are the dark horses.

Political analysts say the succession issue cannot be settled without taking
into consideration the feelings of Solomon Mujuru, one of Zimbabwe’s most
respected war heroes.

They point out that the retired army chief, who is still a kingmaker in
Zanu-PF, might actually consider that with Mugabe’s departure, he himself is
presidential material and throw his hat into the ring.

Other relative newcomers whose names are sometimes bandied about include the
loquacious Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, former minister Simba Makoni,
Mugabe’s former long-time confidant Charles Utete, and the current Airforce
commander Perrence Shiri. Asked about Moyo’s prospects, one senior Zanu-PF
member laughed out loud.

But given the dearth of young and capable politicians in the party, Moyo
could, indeed, have the last laugh.
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Report on shooting faults Zimbabwe police, soldier

August 6, 2003, 5:07 PM EDT

TORRINGTON, Conn. -- The shooting death of a Torrington man happened as a
result of errors made by Zimbabwe police and a soldier, according to a
report from the African magistrate investigating the death.

Richard Gilman, 58, was in Zimbabwe on a humanitarian mission to bring food
and supplies to schoolchildren last November when he was shot after driving
away from a roadblock.

In his report, which was obtained by the Republican-American of Waterbury,
the magistrate accused the two officials manning the station, Pvt. Shadreck
Shereni and Sgt. Ashton Machingauta, of grave errors. But he did not file
charges against them.

"This report is the closest thing to the truth we've seen so far," Donna
Vincenti, the attorney representing Gilman's widow, Mary Gilman, told the
newspaper. "We're getting closer and closer to the truth of what happened."

The report is the summation of two days of testimony from five officials who
were stationed at the roadblock and medical personnel who treated Gilman
after the shooting.

Witness testimony said that Gilman was stopped because his rental car papers
were not in order. Machingauta said he told Gilman to drive to Mutare, get
his passport and insurance papers, and return to the checkpoint.

He said he kept the man's car permit while he waited. But when Gilman
returned, he said an argument ensued, and Gilman rolled up his window and
drove off suddenly.

Machingauta said Gilman almost ran over police officers and soldiers at the
checkpoint. He said Shereni fired at Gilman twice.

"I was not ordered by Sgt. Machingauta to fire, but he had instructed that
the vehicle should not go," Shereni said in a statement.

African Magistrate H. Mujaya said the gunfire was not necessary.

"There was no immediate danger and Gilman had returned to the roadblock on
his own after inquiries were raised about his papers," the report said.

"The bottom line seems to be that Gilman was not escaping from lawful police
custody when he drove off as he had not been arrested."

Copyright © 2003, The Associated Press
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