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The Farmers' Association Chairmen Meeting .scheduled for tomorrow 9.30 for 10.00a.m. will be held in Chapungu, at the Mandel Training Centre (opposite the CFU). Tea will be served at Mandel from 9.30 a.m. and the meeting will commence at 10.00 a.m. A light snack lunch and drinks will be served at CFU at the conclusion of the meeting.

Centenary -War vets set fire to grasslands on Everton. ZRP Mt Darwin and Centenary have been informed. War vets have threatened to do the same on Ashford Farm.
Horseshoe - There has been a work stoppage on Nyamsewe Farm, of which Police have been informed.
Victory Block - War vets were pegging on Kelstone Park yesterday. Work has been stopped on Great Gain aside from seedbeds. It has been reported to Police Mutorashanga and a response is awaited.
Mvurwi - ZRP reaction has been more positive in the area. Approximately 5 war veterans have been cutting down trees to build a camp on Umsengedzi Farm. ZRP negotiated with the war vets and they left. Yesterday there were approximately 7 war vets outside the main gate of Vigila Farm awaiting war vet Makaga for further instructions. Makaga did not arrive by that afternoon, and war vets returned to Chiweshe communal land. ZRP was in attendance. Five war vets are cutting down trees on Rogers Ranch to make way for pegging and building houses. ZRP attended and advised the occupiers that what they were doing was illegal. A militant group of war vets led by Steven Nyhora demanded bricks from Welmode Farm. Their demand was refused. A group of approximately 100 militant war vets, led by Simba, are cutting down trees on Forrester J and have threatened the security guard and owner with an axe. Mvurwi Security intervened and the war vets dispersed. War vets on Msonneddi Farm were told by the Police to remove all structures. In what is seen as retaliation, the war vets released cattle into the owner's sweet potato field, destroying it.
Glendale - War vets continue to build structures on various farms.
Mtepatepa - Bourtenvale Farm was revisited by six today, and more are expected. Mazowe/Concession - A non-militant group of war vets visited Riversdale Farm and advised the owner that they wanted the whole of Somerset Farm.
Shamva - There is a large group of people moving around the area. War vets locked up cattle on Glencairn Farm and then released them into the wheat. They are intimidating the labour by not allowing them to leave the farm village. Land prep has been stopped and war vets have informed the owner that Zanu PF and Border Gezi have told them that no crops are to grown on this farm.
Harare West/Nyabira - A senior war vet is to visit Mayfield Farm today to resolve the ongoing situation.

Marondera North - There appears to be a reduction in numbers on Oxford Farm. Marondera - On Sunday about 40 occupiers went from homestead to homestead on Machiki and Gwaai, pegging. Headlands reacted. The occupiers moved onto Gwaai and on arrival of the Headlands contingent they moved to the labour housing and stated that the owner of Machiki had provoked them. The situation was defused. On Saturday war vet Majuru and accomplice Isaac arrived on Manora in a brand new Isuzu twin cab. They informed the owner that 30 people would be arriving soon for resettlement and that he was going to wait for them on the farm. They left the farm within the hour. They had organised for 15 labourers from Munemo (who said they had been dismissed) to meet them there. They then all returned to Munemo. Occupiers on Toplands have moved into the cottage and stolen the door off the mobile home for their huts. War vets will not let the people remove anything at all from the farm.
Beatrice/Harare South - On Old Blackfordby on Saturday night, 12 girls and 3 boys were abducted by war vets and taken to a base camp on Stoneridge Estate. Police and Support Unit reacted, and the abductees were released after 2.5 hours. Their parents were then detained until the next morning. Police returned and the situation was resolved. Youths from Stoneridge were also abducted on Friday and Saturday night.
Wedza - About 150 msasas have been felled on Lustleigh and taken to Devon for building. Fish poaching is ongoing on Fair Adventure. On Chakadenga fence cutting continues. War vets asked for a gate to be put in for their scotch carts to drive through, and when the owner refused to put one in, they cut the fence again. On Rapako occupiers have damaged some of the irrigation piping and twice switched off the irrigation pumps. On Shaka the tobacco seed bed fence was burnt for a second time on Saturday.
Featherstone - The owner of Phillipsdale has received a Section 8 notice even though it was not conceded, and alternative land offered. 3 vehicles arrived wanting to take over the farm. On Christiana about 12 war vets arrived outside the homestead gate yesterday afternoon and sang and chanted slogans for about an hour. Two war vets have advised people that they will be settling on Knockholt annexe. They then called for a meeting with the FA representatives and wanted to know about the district's community plans: they were worried about where the new boundaries would be.

Chinhoyi - The manager of Poker Ranch reported 17 plots being pegged with 5 complete houses and 12 incomplete houses. Manenga is selling plots for $600 each. He has been doing this for years but he never seems to get to court.
Karoi - On Chiltington Farm a copy of the proposed plot subdivision of part of the farm, drawn up by the Karoi Town Council has come to hand. On Friday a report was lodged at the Karoi Police Station relating to Nassau Farm. The farmers' taskforce, which was at the station to demand a reaction were verbally castigated by the Police, who found the situation amusing. Propol was telephoned by the farmers. Police then visited the farm, and the owner of Nassau was surrounded by 20 aggressive and potentially violent invaders armed with knobkerries, knives etc. and verbally assaulted. Police claimed that there had been no such incident, despite witnesses. After the incident the owner lodged report at police station, and police refused to resolve the work stoppage at Nassau and Mukuyu, saying it was political.
There is still no land prep or ploughing allowed on Deerewood. Lanlory was visited by 7 occupiers, who threatened to take over the whole farm.

Norton - The situation appears relatively quiet at present. On Blandford there are reports of more hut building and on Rock Farm there was more pegging by Lovejoy over the weekend.
Selous - There are reports of pegging on Railway Farm 21 and movement on Northwood and Stroomop.
Chegutu - On Concession Hill farm Gilbert Moyo told labour to switch off irrigation which they refused to do. On Exwick farm war veterans tried to take over the labour housing but were stopped by the labour. On Farnham donkey carts are taking wood off the property.
Suri Suri - On Cigaro war vets are not allowing the movement of cattle on the property and have threatened the manager. On Hippovale war veterans sold wood to people from Chegutu who came to collect it in a three tonne lorry. They were taken to the police station and war veterans have become very threatening. Police reaction has been good so far.
Chakari - On Blackmorvale numbers have increased to 592 war vets who have currently built 35 permanent houses (pole and dagga), 54 more temporary houses and many of others shelters. Two houses have been built in the middle of lands that have been prepared for this coming season by the farmer.
Kadoma - On Glenview farm last week war veterans stopped ploughing and ploughing has not resumed. There was a new invasion on Hellerby. On Milverton Estates war vet Shepherd Moyo has moved in to one of the homesteads. Police say that there is nothing they can do. There are still many cattle missing with some cattle twenty kilometres away.
General - There was an air force troop carrier seen transporting the District Administrator out of Chegutu. There continues to be major concern regarding the list of 3000 properties.

Masvingo East And Central - Riverdene Farm was occupied by 60 people over the weekend. Occupiers are bringing on makeshift structures and then cutting grass and thatching them once they settle. All people are reported to be from Chikombedze Area (in the Lowveld). The foreman has been told that the farm is to be designated. A wheelbarrow has been taken for use by the occupiers. On Dromore Farm a 25 horse power motor has been stolen over the weekend. On Yettom and Marah war vets cut a side gate, entered into the property and attempted to steal 2 x 210 litre drums. The situation was defused and nothing was stolen.
Mwenezi - The owner of Lesanth Ranch has received a letter in which he was told he is not allowed to hunt with clients. This was reported to the Beitbridge Police who have told the war veterans to not interfere and if further interference occurred, they would react. On Rutenga Ranch full scale clearing of land has taken place.
Chiredzi - The situation remains the same; tree cutting, pegging, burning of lands erecting of structures continue. Buffalo Range is the worst affected. On Malilangwe Ranch, numbers of war vets fluctuate by the hour. Reports are being received that the Provincial Governor is due to go onto properties this week and facilitate in resettling people on the farms.

Save Conservancy - No change in this area. There are many people all over who are cutting trees and poaching. Approximately 574 snares have been removed from Angus Ranch.

Gutu/Chatsworth - No change. Tree cutting, building of structures and pegging of plots continue.

Chipinge - On Chipinge West Farm war vets have removed all the cattle from the paddocks, chased them around the farm and pushed them into the feedlot and mixed them up with his feedlotting cattle.
There appear to be specialised meetings of the war vets throughout Manicaland today.

No report.


Shurugwi - On Outward Bound and Edwards Farms there is a heavy presence of occupiers who are cutting trees, pegging, clearing lands and disturbing the cattle. They demand the farmer turn on his pumps when they need water. War Vet “Gunpowder” is thought to be involved.
Safago Farm has been occupied by people equipped with axes, hoses and household goods.
On Gwenoro Farm war vets moved all the cattle out of the paddock they were occupying and pushed them into the security fence and them threatened to beat up the manager when he attempted to close the gates. The matter has been reported to the Police who referred it to the provincial war vets.
On Beacon Kop Farm 4 solar panels from the stock watering pump were stolen, valuing $120 000.
A bull worth $70 000 was slaughtered on Juliasdale Farm. The security fence around the Circle V butchery was cut, but nothing stolen. Gweru East - On Plawsworth Farm there were 34 pole and dagga buildings erected, but only 24-30 occupants on the farm. When asked why there are more houses than people, the reply was that some of the people were too busy to build their houses and were paying the resident occupants to build for them.
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Zimbabwe - Our plea!!
Why the silence now the elections are over.
See the extent of the tyranny that confronts us everyday. We need you help to save our country from disaster!
The Sunday Times
August 6 2000 AFRICA

STN062401 ©
Rutledge tends an ostrich chick with daughter Renee
as he plans a rescue from Mugabe's land grab
Photograph: Rob Cooper

Noah's Ark to save Zimbabwe's game

R W Johnson, Harare

CAUTIOUSLY venturing back onto his game park four months ago, after it had been invaded by war veterans, Ian Rutledge found his chief tracker hanged from a tree.

The sight of John Mugwise, his best friend, swinging among the branches where the men had tied leopard bait, has stayed with him since. It was the beginning of a nightmare that culminated last week in the news that Rutledge's land was to be handed over to the veterans permanently: his was one of 211 farms dotted around Zimbabwe that President Robert Mugabe had decided to confiscate.

Rutledge, 39, has no idea if he will ever be compensated for the loss of his life's work. But he is clear in his resolve to leave the 8,500-acre Dindingwe game park, 150 miles southwest of Harare, with dignity. For him that means saving as much wildlife as possible.

Rutledge is preparing a unique Noah's Ark-style operation to save the animals from a rain of spears and bullets that will otherwise accompany the handover to the landless.

He has managed to rent some land at nearby Lalapanzi and this week will use a helicopter to begin the tricky process of herding large animals into about 50 containers that will then be driven to the new park.

In all he hopes to save 15 giraffe, 300 impala, 60 zebra, 100 sable, 250 kudu, 100 wildebeest, 100 warthog, 40 duiker, 60 bushpig, 50 waterbuck and 30 ostriches, together with anything else he might round up.

The predators - jackals, baboons, caracals, civets, genets, cheetahs and leopards - will be left to their own devices. "Inevitably, we'll probably leave 20% of the animals behind," said Rutledge, who also has to look after his wife Lou, daughter Renee, and dozens of farm workers.

Theirs is a race against time, for when Rutledge was served with his expropriation order he was also told that at least 60 squatter families - about 400 people - would be brought to Dindingwe during the coming days. "Everything left here will be extinct within a fortnight," he said.

A country that until last year was one of the healthiest and most successful in Africa for white farmers and wildlife alike is in the grip of Mugabe's revolution. Closing the gates of Dindingwe behind him, Rutledge will be leaving for an uncertain future. The loss of Mugwise will always pain him.

"I relied so heavily on him," he said, remembering that awful day in April. "Everyone knew that if you wanted to attack Dindingwe, you had to get past John, and so the 'vets' did. When all this is over, I'd like to find the guys who did it."

Murder victim: John Mugwise, tracker, was
found hanged

Rubbing salt into the bitterest of wounds, the local police, compliant with the reign of terror, concluded that Mugwise had committed suicide, even though he was found with handcuffs attached to one ankle. "There's no knowing what he went through," Rutledge said.

The changes seen at Dindingwe since April point to an environmental crisis that awaits as white farms and game parks are closed down.

"There's little water here and within a year this will be desert - and the squatters will move away again," Rutledge said.

Experts in Harare warn that the cost to wildlife of Mugabe's chaotic rule will be heavy. "This is, or was, one of the world's treasure houses," said Don Heath, editor of African Hunter magazine. "But in the national parks the battle was lost some time ago."

Heath said that as early as 1993 Mugabe had allowed most of the country's white rhino to be poached into oblivion. With corruption endemic in the Wildlife and Parks Directorate, up to 1,500 elephants are thought to have been killed in the Zambezi valley last year.

Heath and his colleagues believe predators such as Zimbabwe's 7,000 cheetahs and 20,000 leopards have suffered most. The veterans blame the big cats for attacks on their cattle and have used packs of dogs to hunt them down.

Thousands of zebra, impala, kudu, eland and other antelope have been slaughtered with automatic weapons and sold for meat. "The squatters want everything off the land so it is safe for cattle," said Heath.

Rutledge and other rural whites are clinging to the forlorn hope that Mugabe's promise to expropriate more than 3,000 farms is mere hot air.

They hope that the threat of more nationwide strikes, such as a "stay away" last week, coupled with spiralling inflation and food shortages, could make the government think again before pursuing policies aimed at keeping Mugabe in power after the 2002 presidential elections, when he will be 78.

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Dear All

In connection with the Constituency Budget of Z$ 10 000.00 per Constituency for the proposed MDC Bulletin. Confirmed quotes are now Z$ 1 350.00 per Constituency. This means $162 000.00 per issue Nationwide. We really need assistance!

Click here for a copy of Donations details for your information.

Regards and thanks

Mike Lander
MDC Support (Southern Region)
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7 August 2000

In today's issue :

Comment from The Guardian

From News24 (SA), 7 August

Mugabe won't be sidelined

Cape Town - President Thabo Mbeki’s office has emphatically denied claims of clear plans to sideline Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe from attempts to resuscitate the country’s flailing economy. One newspaper on Sunday reported that discussions on ways to save South Africa’s northern neighbour’s economy would take place exclusively between Zimbabwean ministers and their Southern African counterparts, without Mugabe’s direct participation. The manouevre is believed to be aimed at removing the "Mugabe-stigma" from attempts to prop-up Zimbabwe’s impending economic collapse. Mbeki’s spokesperson, Tasneem Carrim on Sunday flatly denied any plans to exclude Mugabe from the process. She said Zimbabwe’s Millenium Project for Economic Reform at present included Mugabe’s participation. The fact that discussions and the responsibility for the implementation of economic reforms fell mostly on the ministers’ shoulders should not be interpreted as a strategy to push Mugabe out the back door.

Informed diplomatic sources said South Africa is "extremely satisfied" that Zimbabwean ministers who hold key portfolios were given the responsibility of co-ordinating the details of reform, "because achieving a series of economic-political goals is far more likely under those circumstances." These aims include a further devaluation of the Zimbabwean currency, a tightening on state spending, lawful and orderly land redistribution and the withdrawal of Zimbabwean troops from the DRC. A source in a Zimbabwean development agency said from Harare that recent discussions between the Zimbabwean government, business and civil associations had brought new hope that within government there had been acknowledgement that Mugabe’s management of his country’s economic crisis was "sending the country to the brink of disaster. That certain key government figures are aware of the seriousness of the situation is a ray of hope, but any excitement is premature," the source said. "Everyone knows Mugabe has enormous political power and is so unpredictable that at any time he could put a spanner in the works of reform should he feel his position of power is threatened. At present the situation is balanced on a knife-edge."

From The Sunday News, 6 August

No land for MDC people, says Mpofu.

Movement for Democratic Change supporters will not be considered for resettlement under the accelerated land distribution programme, the Matabeleland North Governor, Cde. Obert Mpofu said yesterday. Cde. Mpofu was speaking at the official launch of the accelerated resettlement programme in the province at Goodwood Farm in Bubi District. One hundred and twenty families were allocated land for resettlement on 10 000 hectares acquired by Government. Plans are underway to purchase the remaining 23 000 hectares of the farm for resettlement. He said MDC supporters would not be resettled because they had shown that they had no interest in the land by voting against the ruling party in the June elections. Cde. Mpofu said ZANU(PF) members and war veterans should ensure that no MDC supporters were resettled in their districts. "I do not want to see any person from the MDC on the list of people who will be resettled. The MDC supporters should wait for their government to give them land" said Cde. Mpofu to thunderous applause from a crowd of about 500 people who attended the meeting.

He said since he took over as Governor on Wednesday, 126 farms, totalling 500 000 hectares had been identified for resettlement in the province. Cde. Mpofu said people in Matabeleland had been hoodwinked into believing that everyone in the country wanted to change the government of the day, yet the results had proved otherwise. Cde. Mpofu also castigated civil servants, whom he said were MDC supporters, for misusing Government vehicles. "If you see a Government car carrying an MDC supporter or a civil servant eating or drinking with an MDC member in a car, confiscate the keys and hand them over to the authorities. These civil servants should work with you for the development of Matabeleland North", he said.

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 7 August

Farm seizures in final phase

Harare – President Robert Mugabe's land grab has entered its final phase with the delivery of 211 "occupation orders" to Zimbabwe's beleaguered white farmers. After months of inflammatory rhetoric, the government has embarked on an "accelerated land resettlement programme". The 804 farms listed for seizure in June have been singled out for "fast track" acquisition and Mr Mugabe has promised: "We will not stop there." The CFU said 211 farmers had received occupation orders. Under section eight of the Land Acquisition Act of 1992, these declare a farm to be state property and give the owner 90 days to leave. No compensation will be paid for the land itself, only for "improvements" such as roads or buildings.

But a CFU spokesman said that most recipients of the orders were likely to appeal. He said: "Many of the orders were badly drafted and are open to legal challenge, which must be heard in the courts." A flood of appeals could tie up the legal system for months, if not years. Because Mr Mugabe has promised to resettle black families "immediately", farmers fear he could seize their properties and ignore the law. The CFU spokesman said: "If he's serious about fast track resettlement, it cannot happen within the law." If Mr Mugabe were to press ahead, the CFU believes the consequences would be disastrous. The spokesman said: "It would be the end of commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe. All you would do is destroy successful farms and spread poverty across the country."

From The Star (SA), 7 August

Laughter as 'old man' Madiba fluffs his lines

Windhoek - Former president Nelson Mandela missed his lines when he was awarded a prestigious medal at the SADC summit in Windhoek on Sunday, but his recovery had his audience roaring with laughter. About two-thirds of his way through his acceptance speech, delivered to eleven heads of state and scores of ministers from the region, he faltered in reading his prepared speech. "You will be patient with an old man," said the 82-year-old Mandela. "I have confused my papers, but I know a president who confuses papers and does not know he has done so."

His audience - including the presidents on the podium - roared with laughter. Mandela made another attempt to carry on reading, then, protesting that someone had "sabotaged" him, said he would speak from the heart instead. He said it was with sadness that he noted that parts of the region were still labouring under destructive conflicts, and that he was confident that the collective wisdom of leadership in the region would end them swiftly. "It is incumbent upon us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and stability to our entire region so that our people can develop to the full their human potential, and live lives of dignity."

From Pan Africa News Agency, 6 August

Ruling Zanu PF Candidate Benefits From Vote Recount

HARARE - A recount of ballots requested by Zimbabwe's opposition for nullification of the June parliamentary election results Sunday extended the victory of one of the ruling ZANU PF's candidates by nine votes. The recount in the Marondera East constituency, ordered by the High Court, increased the victory margin for Mines and Energy minister Sydney Sekeramayi from 63 to 72 votes. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has demanded a recounting in Marondera and 36 other constituencies won by President Robert Mugabe's party.

ZANU-PF narrowly won the elections, capturing 62 seats to the MDC's 57, but the ten-month old opposition party has accused the ruling party of vote rigging in many of the constituencies it won. The election was marred by intense fighting between supporters of the two parties, an issue which the MDC has also cited in seeking the nullification of some election results where it was beaten by ZANU-PF. "The recount was by no means the major argument that the MDC was advocating. The major argument that concerns us is the pre-election violence," said the party's legal affairs secretary David Coltart. President Mugabe's ruling party, in power uninterrupted for 20 years has not challenged the results in the constituencies where it lost to the MDC.

From Pan Africa News Agency, 6 August

Patients Baffled As Bulawayo Doctors Slug It Out In Ward

BULAWAYO - Two doctors at a government hospital in southern Zimbabwe caused commotion among patients in a ward when they engaged in a fierce fist fight over long standing differences dating back to their college days. The medical superintendent at Mpilo hospital in Bulawayo, Dr Juliet Gula-Ndebele, said the two unnamed doctors threw away their stethoscopes to fight over "a silly thing", prompting patients in the female ward to desert their beds in a scramble for a better view of the drama. "It was a silly thing that they fought over. We have disciplined the doctors," she said, but declined to reveal what punishment had been meted out to the two medical practitioners.

Hospital sources said the doctors had long standing differences from the days when they were students at the University of Zimbabwe, which resulted in the fistfight. Patients in the ward said they were baffled by the doctors' behaviour, as the two were among the hospital's favourite medical staff to patients. "The two are very understanding and respectable doctors. I do not know what got into them that day," said one of the patients who witnessed the fight.

Editorial from The Daily Telegraph (UK), 7 August

The ruins of Zimbabwe

SEEMINGLY disregarded by the rest of the world, President Mugabe pursues his campaign to make farming in Zimbabwe impossible, to grab land without compensation and to turn it over to less productive hands. At the last count, some 3,041 farms are being seized, which is 65 per cent of the total. The total number of farmers working under handicap is probably nearer 80 per cent. That comes close to the end of productive farming in Zimbabwe and the start of what will become, next year, a food crisis. Wheat that should have gone in for harvest in November has not been planted. It is none too soon to consider how the world is expected to respond to the call for help that will come when famine strikes.

In truth, the world's response to Mr Mugabe's ruinous policies has been dismal. By all accounts, Europe's team of monitors who went to oversee the recent general election there did a good job. They reported numerous breaches of election law, intimidation and ballot rigging. But nobody has displayed much concern. This inaction has not passed unnoticed by the struggling opposition, which took immense risks in fighting the election and remains Zimbabwe's best democratic chance of replacing Mr Mugabe. So much for international involvement in democracy and human rights. Nor is Europe alone in preferring to avert its face from what is going on. Last week, President Mbeki of South Africa again visited Mr Mugabe. What is happening in Zimbabwe may well have serious consequences for South Africa, yet its president apparently can find no warning words for Mr Mugabe. Perhaps he reckons that Mr Mugabe is now outside anyone's control.

This is, above all, a crisis which should be exercising Africa's principal leaders. Much of that continent now seeks international investment. It wants a bigger share in the world's markets. Yet nothing could be more calculated to discourage investment than the predatory actions of Mr Mugabe. He has started what might become a dangerous bush fire. If the outside world continues to shrug its shoulders, it could become very dangerous indeed.

Comment from The Guardian (UK), 7 August

Zimbabwe is committed to a future that only its president really wants

Harare - The Zimbabwean government messenger who delivered the official notice to a stunned April Davies last week quietly but dramatically tipped the scales in the struggle over Zimbabwe's farmland. Mrs Davies was told that her farm had been expropriated without compensation. The government took the land immediately and gave the elderly widow 90 days to get out of her house. It was the first legal confiscation by Robert Mugabe under his considerable powers to take any land he chooses for redistribution to poor blacks. If Mrs Davies's farm had also been the last to be seized, or was one of just a couple of hundred farms, it probably would not make much difference to greater Zimbabwe. But if Mugabe now does what he says he is going to do, then his country is in for a rough time.

Things looked bad enough when the government said that it intended to take 804 farms, but that at least left most of the commercial land still dedicated to producing vital tobacco exports. But now Mugabe has raised the bleak prospect of expropriating more than 3,000 farms - two-thirds of the white-owned agricultural land - and he says even that may not be enough. It is not certain that Mugabe intends to follow through on his pledge, but don't count on him backing down. Many Zimbabweans thought the land issue would quietly die after it was used to whip up anti-white sentiment, and support for Mugabe "the liberation war hero", ahead of June's parliamentary elections. But Zanu-PF's humiliating near-defeat has helped keep land top of the agenda.

After the shock of the parliamentary ballot, there is no shortage of voices telling Mugabe that he cannot win the next presidential election in two years' time. Some of the doubters inside his party say that he knows it. But if Mugabe is on the way out, he has little incentive to drop his assault on the farms. And if he hopes to win another election, then it is a powerful issue to keep alive. Mugabe's constituency, those for whom he believes he governs, and for whom he fought a liberation war, are not the city dwellers who snubbed him so defiantly in June's parliamentary elections. Such support as he has is among the peasants and landless rural poor, whose lives have not improved measurably for all Zimbabwe's past economic successes. Now there are hundreds of thousands of blacks who expect to be given land, much of it good land. Why not one last gesture for the people who matter to him? And at the same time, exact revenge on the whites he so despises? For Mugabe, it is the opportunity to go down in history as the man who not only liberated Zimbabwe from the colonists, but finally righted a great historical wrong and delivered the land back to its proper owners.

None of this may come to pass, but all efforts to prevent it so far have backfired. What began as the prospect of seizing a few hundred farms has increased to several thousand as Mugabe was denounced by Zimbabweans and foreigners as a tyrant out of step with a changing world. There is not much to be achieved by hurling insults at Mugabe. Peter Hain and Robin Cook tried it and did little more than harden the president's determination to snatch the land. In any case, to African ears, the tone of British official criticism still smacks of neo-colonialism. Mugabe's bitterness encompasses more than the whites camped on Zimbabwean soil. He is not alone among African leaders in being disgruntled at being forced to swallow the new ideology of globalisation and other western medicines that have prevented many governments of poor countries having any real say in the fate of their nations. Few have much to show for it.

Thabo Mbeki's scepticism over the link between HIV and Aids is more than mere contrariness. He is deeply suspicious about western intentions on his continent. To the rest of the world, the 2006 World Cup debacle might have been farce, but in Africa it was understood as a racist conspiracy. Where Mbeki is not at one with Mugabe is over the economic cost of the land seizures. Mugabe famously tells those dignitaries who tramp to his door in the belief they can change his thinking what they want to hear, and then he carries on as usual. This is what happened when Mbeki turned up in Harare with a few heavyweight cabinet ministers in tow. They have good reason to be worried about what is happening in Zimbabwe. An economic meltdown has many implications for South Africa, not least because of the danger of large numbers of Zimbabweans heading south to search for work, and the damage the crisis does to foreign confidence in the region.

At a press conference, Mbeki spoke of the need to establish the rule of law - which is code for ending the hundreds of illegal farm occupations by the war veterans. Under pressure to respond, Mugabe said he would get veterans off those farms not legally designated for seizure. Even the state-run Herald newspaper hailed it as a breakthrough. The South Africans seemed pleased. But Mugabe didn't mean it. Next day, he was denouncing his own newspaper for misinterpreting him, and promising to take every piece of white-owned farmland in the country if he felt like it.

And he does feel like it. Mugabe has heard all the arguments, economic, legal, moral, against snatching farms but none is as persuasive to him as the case for redistribution. The moral question, the one for full compensation to the farmers, is the weakest. Theoretically they will get the cost of their homes and farm buildings. In any case, even those Zimbabweans who don't agree with what is going on speak with some bitterness about the manner in which the land was stolen at gunpoint and with considerable brutality little more than a century ago - not long when you see Ian Smith's old friend, the Queen Mother, getting her birthday card. That is no excuse for vilifying white farmers as Idi Amin hounded the Asians, or treating them with cruelty and brutality. Mugabe might want all the whites out of the country, but that is not the wish of most Zimbabweans.

Then there is the legal case, but the west is hardly in a position to lecture Mugabe on the rule of law after decades of riding roughshod over the human rights of Africa by arming governments that commit genocide and propping up authoritarian leaders who plunder their treasuries. The only truly persuasive argument against the redistribution of the farms is the devastating impact the wreckage of the economy will have on the welfare of most Zimbabweans. The commercial farms bring in most of the country's hard currency and are the single largest employer. Mugabe and his government cannot fail to understand the consequence of redistribution of the country's most productive land to subsistence level farmers.

At best, Zimbabwe will be able to feed itself. But the tobacco industry has already said that it will shut down if 3,000 farms are seized. Then there will be little hard currency to pay for fuel and electricity, and so little incentive for industry to stay around. A good proportion of the working population - farm hands to factory workers - will be out of jobs. If that happens, Zimbabwe will need all the subsistence farmers it can get.
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The President of the CFU Mr.T Henwood requests that all Chairman of Farmers Association's attend the CFU on Tuesday 8 August 9.30am for 10.00am for an urgent meeting.


ZTA welcomes statements by Government expressing determination to restore law and order on farms within the next few weeks.

The URGENCY of restoring law and order cannot be over emphasised as tobacco growers have to complete BY MID AUGUST EDB application, fertilization and ridging for their tobacco crops to be planted on 1st September.

Furthermore, dry land tobacco land preparation and seedbed sowing are normally completed BY MID AUGUST thereby effectively determining the overall size of the national crop.

Failure to achieve the 180 million-core business crop target will jeopardise Zimbabwe's position as a leading supplier of quality flavourful flue cured tobacco for the worlds international brands of cigarettes. Zimbabwe's tobacco exports earn 30% of the nation's foreign exchange.

The current prevailing disruptions to farming operations need to be urgently addressed and all parties are encouraged to work together to find an immediate solution. The ZTA undertakes to play its part in this process.



Tsatsi - Approximately 20 war veterans were building houses just outside the security fence on Nyachura farm. The owner of Tallands has had a small invasion of 8-10 war veterans but there has been a threat of an increase over the weekend. War veteran numbers have increased to approximately 30-40 on Dorking farm.

Mvurwi - Approximately 17 "peggers" on Vigila Pedro farm, it was reported to the Police that they had been throwing stones at passing cars, but no reaction has been from the Police so far.A group of "peggers" on Mpinge farm were collected yesterday afternoon to return to the communal land. Chidziwa Wadden Chase had 4 war veterans yesterday afternoon. War veteran Makina demanded transport from the owner of Sandford farm, it was refused.

Mutepatepa - . The owner of Insingisi farm has received death threats to himself and his daughter. He has shut down his farm and police are looking for war veteran Foster for questioning.

Harare West/Nyabira - The owner of Mayfield farm and his son returned to sort out farm matters. war veterans became a little aggressive and the situation is still tense with some of the labour evacuating the farm. Approximately 30 war veterans have invaded Cigaro farm.

Mazowe - War veteran Makoni has given eviction notices to the owners of Cardiff and Whitfields farms. The owner of Mazowe Supermarket has been given a eviction notice be out in 2 1/2 months time.


Marondera North - .NTR

Beatrice / Harare South - Dunottar farm continues to have problems with brick making in the land, damage to water pipes, theft of timber etc. On Plumstead hut building on a access road continues. a death threat was served on the owners son yesterday, general harassment and work stoppages occurring. On Goldilands today, tractors have been prevented from working, war veterans claim the farm is theirs and the owner may remain at their pleasure. They took offence at a wind vane in the form of a animal silhouette (not a cockerel) and ordered it to be chopped down.

The FA security representative received a note left on his gate this morning accusing him of spying for farmers. it advised him to "keep his mouth shut", leave within 48 hours and consider himself lucky to have been warned.

Wedza - At Rupaka a new group of war veterans arrived yesterday. On Shaka part of the grass seedbed fence was again burnt.

Enterprise - At Mashonakop, poachers say they are allowed to hunt openly as they claim the farm belongs to Government. At Chifumbi North arrests of illegal maize gleaners were interfered with by war veterans who commandeered a tractor and trailer and sent the gleanings to the farm compound. Carrick Creagh was yesterday invaded by 40 war veterans and followers who stormed through the security gate and surrounded the homestead. Police reacted to a threatening situation and diffused it. However, this activity was repeated this morning and police have again been called out. Generally in the area tree cutting, hut building and interfering with land prep continues.

Bromley/Ruwa - .At Lincoln farm two of the managers were yesterday held by war veterans, who forced vehicle keys to be handed to them. Arrangements had been made for ZBC TV to be present. Police secured release of the foremen. Xandadu, the farm was revisited but no serious incident was reported.

Macheke/Virginia - As at 11am all is quiet.



Norton -At Serui Source "commuter peggers" came and are awaiting someone to show them their fields. Labour reacted regarding war veteran Mutasa's road block yesterday, asking him whether he would pay them. Management had to direct farming operations from the Harare/Bulawayo road. Automatic gun fire has been heard at night again.

Chegutu -Another visit to Concession Hill farm by Gilbert Moyo who is under warrant for arrest.At Leny farm a section 8 order was given yesterday. On Ranwick and Tiverton farms poaching with weapons continues.

Suri Suri - On Cigaro farm war veteran Duran has made a new invasion. He invaded Maradadi farm yesterday.

Chakari - War veteran's Pembedza Moyo and the member in Charge of ZRP had a meeting with the owner of Blackmoorvale today. The war veterans said that they would remain on the farm and they would be taking all the farms and no "whites" would be left. Moyo refuted having told the owner that he had to leave in three days and said that he could continue farming until Government listed and acquired the farm. However in the meantime the war veterans would continue clearing land, building houses and preparing for the summer season. The Member in Charge is not taking a stand against this in anyway. There is still about 600 people on the property.

Kadoma - On Railway farm 5 people from Venice Mine, which has recently closed has started chopping trees and building huts.


The situation is still the same as previously reported and quiet so far. In Masvingo east reinvasion of properties and in the conservancy there are war veterans settling themselves along the Save river

MANICALAND- Nil report



Gweru East - No report

Lower Gweru- At Keynshaburg, Somerset Loudon and Matambo farms clearing and pegging of fields continue. The war veterans at Ranche farm appear more aggressive.

Lalapanzi- Feverish pegging ongoing from about 20/30 war veterans. War veteran Sibindi seems to be the main instigator.

Kwekwe- Increase in pegging of fields in Sherwood area, this is cause for concern amongst the irrigation farmers.


The CFU President and two Vice Presidents together with the Chief Executive of ZTA, and a group of invited producer representatives met with the Chief Executives of the four primary city banks, as well as senior trade representatives from chemical and fertilizer companies on Friday afternoon. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the present stalemate whereby banks are not lending at normal levels, and the trade sales are very depressed as farmers are not buying. Detailed notes on the outcome of this meeting will be circulated on Monday.
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Investigation of RGM's Assets

I have been watching the international news regarding the investigation of the assets of past leaders of nations such as Nigeria and Indonesia (Suharto) and would like to find out how we would go about getting Mugabe's assets investigated internationally. 
The last Nigerian president Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar (I think this is the guy, but I am not sure) is being investigated and his assets apparently are being given back to the state. The banks in the USA, UK & even Switzerland (unprecedented) have released information  The same thing is happening in Indonesia with the Suharto family. 
I would have no idea how to get something like this started but there must be someone in the Ex-Rhodesian or Ex-Zimbabwean network who has the knowledge and who could instigate the investigation.
Do you have any ideas??  Please pass this e-mail on to all on your network, someone somewhere will have an idea!!!

E-mail:  matusadona@bigpond.com.au
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