: Farmers in Chinhoyi Jail
Date: 25 April 1998 12:24
Please can you
send this email to as many people as possible. 21 Farmers
have been arrested
They have been stripped of their shoes and jackets and have no
blankets. Not only that anybody who has tried to assist have been
or beaten up. Please let the world know what is going on in
Police are of no assistance and have been told not to help any
lengths are Zanu PF prepared to go to retain power. This is
not a land
issue its totally political. The farmers have no protection and
helps ends up beaten or arrested as happened in Chinhoyi today.
beaten up inside the police station. Please Help us expose Zanu
must be able to help. PLEASE.
I just called Philip Chiyangwa, MP for Chinhoyi and he has ordered the
youth to stop the violence ... If you want me to call him back about
blankets etc, I can try.
Violence is continuing in Zimbabwe after at least 23 white farmers were arrested
after clashes over controversial land occupation.
One white man has been
treated for stab wounds, three white women were assaulted and one black woman
was also attacked after imploring ruling party militants to stop.
cars driven by whites were also stoned in Chinhoyi, according to
Police have issued a warning across the farming district
citizen's band radio network, advising whites to stay out of the
Nineteen farmers were arrested yesterday after a confrontation with
militants occupying white-owned land.
Militants wielding clubs and sticks
chased farmer Tony Barklay into his house and attempted to smash down the door,
demanding he leave the property.
Barklay radioed for help and militants
stoned the cars of two white neighbours who arrived at his home. About 25
farmers from the district then went to their assistance. Paramilitary police
then ordered farmers to report to the Chinhoyi police station, where 19 were
In Harare, police spokesman Tarwireyi Tirivavi said 23 farmers
were being held on allegations of public violence and assault with intent to
He said five black farm settlers were injured in clashes
with farmers who attacked them. No militants were arrested. A white farmer
attacked by axe-wielding assailants in central Zimbabwe died last
Ralph Corbett, 76, a rancher near the Midlands provincial town of
Kwekwe, became the ninth white farmer to have died since a campaign of violent
land occupations began in March 2000.
His ranch was among at least 1,700
white-owned farms occupied by ruling party militants.
Tuesday, 7 August, 2001, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
White farmers held in Zimbabwe
Thousands of white-owned farms have been
The Zimbabwean police say about 20 white farmers who are in
jail will be charged with public violence and assault.
The news comes as hospital sources in Harare report the death of a white
farmer who was critically injured when suspected pro-government militants
attacked him with an axe at his farm in Kwekwe on Friday.
His death brings to nine the number of white farmers
killed in land invasion incidents. Two black people, a policeman and a settler,
have also been killed.
The farmers who are facing charges were arrested after a fight broke out
between them and a group of militant government supporters who were occupying a
Police in the town of Chinhoyi, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the capital
Harare, have used citizens' band radio to advise white people to stay away after
several were beaten up by gangs of militants.
A group of white farmers had apparently gone to protect a friend after about
50 militant government supporters invaded his land and attempted to break into
At least two of the farmers were hurt during the subsequent fight. One is
reported to be suffering from broken ribs.
Friends of the white farmers told the BBC that the Zimbabwean police did not
arrest any of the militants involved.
Supporters of the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, have forcibly occupied
thousands of white-owned farms during the past 18 months.
President Mugabe has said the occupations are a spontaneous expression of
anger at the unequal distribution of fertile land between the black majority and
the tiny white minority.
But his critics, both at home and abroad, accuse him of using the land issue
to bolster his support at a time of worsening economic crisis.
Eight farmers have been killed and many farm workers injured during the
Another white farmer, Ralph Corbett, is seriously ill after being attacked
According to the Associated Press, the farmer's daughter said doctors gave
him only a 5% chance of recovery after he was attacked with an axe.
From ZWNEWS, 7 August
Zanu thugs on rampage in Chinhoyi
At 9:00 am on 6 August, farmers in the Chinhoyi district received
call over the local radio network from a local farmer, who
reported that his
house was being attacked by a group of 40 Zanu PF thugs.
The police were
informed - their response was that they would send a
constable on a bicycle
the 24 kilometres from the police station to the farm.
Realising the police
were not going to react in anything like a timely
fashion, 11 farmers
travelled to assist the besieged farmer. En route, they
lost radio contact
with the farmer, and began to fear the worst. On arrival
at the farm, they
found the farmstead surrounded, and they forced their way
way through the
mob in an effort to reach the inhabitants. in the process
several of the
besieging crowd - and four or five farmers - were injured, one
enough to be hospitalised. The besieged farmer was eventually
barricaded inside the house, out of reach of his radio.
police eventually arrived and requested that the eleven farmers report
Chinhoyi police station to give statements. On arrival at the station,
the farmers were arrested. In addition, a 72-year old man who arrived
to bring blankets for those who had been arrested was also detained.
PF supporters were arrested.
A group of farmers and local
residents arrived this morning at the police
station in an effort to mediate.
Amongst them was Mr Mark Shaw - previously
a police officer in the Zimbabwe
Republic Police. He too was arrested - his
offence being talking to a lawyer
on a mobile phone. A number of other
people were also arrested, bring the
total of those in detention in Chinhoyi
Zanu PF thugs have
since gone on the rampage in the town of Chinhoyi, and
white residents are
being beaten at random. A Mr Hendrick Streeth was
stabbed at the police
station, in view of the police. A Mrs Carol Anne
Steyn, who wnet to the
police station to change her vehicle registration
document, was also beaten
in full view of the police. Mr Christen Erlank, a
Chinhoyi resident, was
picked up on the street by the mob and severely
beaten. At least seven other
people are believed to have been severely
assaulted. Zanu PF thugs have since
gone on the rampage in the town of
Chinhoyi, and white residents are being
beaten at random. A Mr Hendrick
Streeth was stabbed at the police station, in
view of the police. A Mrs
Carol Anne Steyn, who wnet to the police station to
change her vehicle
registration document, was also beaten in full view of the
Christen Erlank, a Chinhoyi resident, was picked up on the street
by the mob
and severely beaten. At least seven other people are believed to
severely assaulted - six of them women. Chinhoyi police have now
white residents of the town to leave.
From ZWNEWS, 7
Ambush, abductions in Nyathi
On the evening of Sunday 6
August, a group of around 60 Zanu PF militants -
provided with food and
ferried in on government vehicles - gathered on a
farm in Nyathi in northern
Matabeleland. They camped overnight on the farm,
and on Monday morning
abducted 13 people from a nearby mine. They then laid
an ambush for the game
scouts employed on the farm, who were armed with
shotguns. The ambush was
sprung, and in the melee three of the mob, and some
of the abductees from the
mine who were being used a human shields,
sustained minor birdshot injuries.
The game scouts managed to escape, but
the mob then went on the rampage in
the farm compound, burning down three of
the staff quarters, valued at Z$500
000. The incident was reported to the
police, who initially reacted in a
professional manner, but who have
subsequently refused to become involved
after pressure was applied by the
governor of Matabeleland North, Obert
Contacted for comment, David Coltart MP, legal affairs spokesman
opposition MDC, said, "We believe that these incidents are not
Think back to April last year, when David Stevens was murdered
in the north
of the country, and Martin Olds in Matabeleland. Think also of
violence after the by-election in the Bikita West constituency.
all three of those past incidents were a reaction to Zanu PF
how much trouble they were in politically. Although they won
the Bikita West
by-election, we believe there was substantial electoral fraud
election. Zanu PF knew the true ballot figures, and hence unleashed
violence even though they had 'won' the election. Similarly, the murders
Martin Olds and David Stevens were a reaction by Zanu PF to just how
support they realised they had lost." He added, "What is happening today
Chinhoyi and yesterday in Nyathi is exactly the same kind of thing -
and Zanu PF are trying to beat the population into supporting them,
that doesn't work - as it increasingly isn't - they are trying to
reaction so they can declare a state of emergency. Zanu PF know the
figures for the Bindura by-election, and this is what they do in
Why else should they react so violently in Mashonaland - their
when their candidate in Bindura apparently won with such a
Ambush, abductions in
On the evening of Sunday 6 August, a group of around 60 Zanu PF
militants - provided with food and ferried in on government vehicles - gathered
on a farm in Nyathi in northern Matabeleland. They camped overnight on the farm,
and on Monday morning abducted 13 people from a nearby mine. They then laid an
ambush for the game scouts employed on the farm, who were armed with shotguns.
The ambush was sprung, and in the melee three of the mob, and some of the
abductees from the mine who were being used a human shields, sustained minor
birdshot injuries. The game scouts managed to escape, but the mob then went on
the rampage in the farm compound, burning down three of the staff quarters,
valued at Z$500 000. The incident was reported to the police, who initially
reacted in a professional manner, but who have subsequently refused to become
involved after pressure was applied by the governor of Matabeleland North, Obert
Contacted for comment, David Coltart MP, legal affairs
spokesman for the opposition MDC, said, "We believe that these incidents are not
coincidental. Think back to April last year, when David Stevens was murdered in
the north of the country, and Martin Olds in Matabeleland. Think also of the
extreme violence after the by-election in the Bikita West constituency. We
believe all three of those past incidents were a reaction to Zanu PF realising
just how much trouble they were in politically. Although they won the Bikita
West by-election, we believe there was substantial electoral fraud in that
election. Zanu PF knew the true ballot figures, and hence unleashed the violence
even though they had 'won' the election. Similarly, the murders of Martin Olds
and David Stevens were a reaction by Zanu PF to just how much support they
realised they had lost." He added, "What is happening today in Chinoyi and
yesterday in Nyathi is exactly the same kind of thing - Mugabe and Zanu PF are
trying to beat the population into supporting them, and if that doesn't work -
as it increasingly isn't - they are trying to provoke a reaction so they can
declare a state of emergency. Zanu PF know the true figures for the Bindura
by-election, and this is what they do in response. Why else should they react so
violently in Mashonaland - their heartland - when their candidate in Bindura
apparently won with such a majority?"
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION
Farm Invasions and Security
Monday 6th August 2001
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.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF:
NOTE: Illegal occupiers occupying commercial properties in Mwenezi South of the
Bubi River on the main Masvingo / Beit Bridge Road are reported to have been
stopping and robbing vehicles. These people have been wearing police reflective
uniforms and motorists should be cautioned. The latest incident took place on
1st August when "a policeman" stepped into the road and forced the vehicle to
stop. Immediately, the car was surrounded and the occupants robbed of all their
On the night of Friday, 3rd August, 2001, an elderly cattle
farmer, Mr Corbett, in Hunters Road, had his house broken into and was seriously
assaulted and is currently on a life support unit in hospital.
The owner of
Tilita Farm in Marondera, was ambushed in his vehicle and shot at close range
with a .303 rifle when returning to his farm after collecting wages. 2 suspects
have been arrested and are in police custody.
The owner and his brother were
barricaded into the farm homestead on Malabar farm in Marondera, when the owner
refused to dismiss some of his farm workers as requested by illegal occupiers.
The situation was defused the following day.
The cattle manager on a sub
section of Changwe Ranch was physically assaulted by illegal occupiers.
Illegal occupiers chased farm workers out of their farm villages on 7 farms
in the Wedza district, forcing farm workers to reside in the farm barns and shed
An armed robbery took place on Gravelotte farm in Doma. The
Neighbourhood Watch and Tredar reacted immediately, although police were
reluctant to respond.
DDF officials set fire to a Rhodes grass plantation
on Ijapo Farm in Gadzema before ploughing the land.
23 head of cattle have
been poached on Oldham Estates in Chegutu in the last month.
seedbeds have died on Serui Source in Norton due to illegal occupiers refusing
to allow farm workers to water them.
Work on Katanya in Mutepatepa has been
prevented for 5 weeks.
There were no reports
received from Matabeleland and Masvingo Region.
Centenary - A new invasion took place on Kungwa Farm and the owner was
instructed to desist from further land preparation for the next season. Work has
continued as normal on the farm, however. Work stoppages in varying degrees
continue on several farms in the area.
Victory Block - A fire was started in
a paddock containing weaners on Mutendamambo and since then, 3 cattle have died
under suspicious circumstances, forcing the owner to move half of the herd off
the farm. A further 400 ha had been burned out on Under Cragg and 3 illegal
occupiers were found to be constructing huts in the vicinity of where the fire
started. Illegal occupiers demanded to be supplied with a water cart, but this
was refused. Illegal occupiers who are awaiting the DA at Birkdale Farm demanded
to be supplied with beer and drums and threatened the owner's wife when these
demands were refused. Police responded and illegal occupiers have moved onto
Chengoma where their demands to use the telephone were refused. The same
illegal occupiers were seen the following day trying to enter the game park in
order to build huts. The group moved on later, leaving 8 behind who have taken
up residence in an old farm school building.
Mvurwi - The farm workers
strike on Muirend has been resolved and work commenced. Numerous work stoppages
are ongoing in the area, where no land preparation has been allowed.
Mutepatepa - Illegal occupiers have been interfering with work daily on
Brockley and prevented women from collecting firewood on the farm. Serious
intimidation of farm workers and threats to the owner are ongoing. Tara and
Amanda have been fully pegged for resettlement and no further work has been
allowed. Work on Katanya has been prevented for the last 5 weeks and it is hoped
that the DA will be attending to the situation this week.
Trelawney / Darwendale - A work stoppage occurred on Paradys
and Hunyani Farms.
Doma - Work was prevented on Whindale Farm and illegal
occupiers are demanding that the owner remove his cattle off the farm. The DA is
refusing to respond to the owner's situation. About 40 illegal occupiers moved
onto Ona Patari. 12 illegal occupiers remain on Green Valley Farm. Mpata Farm
was pegged by illegal occupiers. 20 illegal occupiers have moved onto Ozanna
Range and Mhondoro Farm. An armed robbery took place on Gravelotte Farm in the
homestead whilst the owner was there. The Neighbourhood Watch and Tredar reacted
immediately although police were reluctant to respond. The getaway vehicle was
found abandoned on Laramie Farm near Doma Club.
Raffingora / Ayrshire -
About 65 illegal occupiers moved onto Buwi Farm to peg the land.
A pedigree bull was slaughtered by illegal occupiers on Uplands Farm.
Banket - 7 people dressed in army uniform arrived on Bickleighvale farm to
claim their plots.
Mashonaland West South
Norton - On Serui Source
Farm the tractors are impounded at the war veteran encampment, and the owner and
his son are still not allowed back to continue their farming operation. The
tobacco seed beds have died due to illegal occupiers preventing farm workers
Chegutu - 23 cattle have been poached on Oldham Estates in
the last month, mostly with weapons and game poached with little or no
assistance from police. The owner and his family, of Clevedon has been told that
they will be forcibly evicted by illegal occupiers. We regret that the report
regarding the Vice President of ZFTU, Mr Chinotimba coming to the Bonduelle
factory was false. Another official from ZFTU was officiating during the
Suri-Suri / Gadzema - DDF set fire to a crop of Rhodes Grass on
Ijapo Farm before ploughing the land. The owner has had to sell his entire herd
of cattle and discontinue farming operations.
Kadoma - There was a work
stoppage on Inniskilling Farm and the school had to close down due to illegal
occupiers demanding maize from farm owners who have been put under duress.
Police eventually responded positively on the 3rd day. Maize extorted from the
owners of Alabama and Normandi North Farms has not been returned.
Beatrice - Agritex pegged Dunrobin farm where an
illegal occupier was present.
Harare South - 4 illegal occupiers tried to
prevent a tractor from ploughing on Dunolly farm and when the driver refused,
the illegal occupiers left. About 20 illegal occupiers and Agritex officials
started pegging including lands which the owner had already commenced land
preparation on Auks Nest with a police presence. A resident illegal occupier on
Rusimbiro removed 46 of the owner's sprinklers out of a land. The owner made a
report to the police and was informed it was a political issue and they could
not get involved. Illegal occupiers told the manager that they were keeping the
sprinklers until they were notified as to what action to take by their
Marondera - The owner of Tilita farm was ambushed in his vehicle
and shot at close range with a 303 rifle when turning into his farm after
collecting wages. The bullet passed through his left forearm and chest. The
owner managed to drive out of the ambush area to the homestead, where he secured
the cash and radioed for help. Reaction from the district was prompt and
effective, and as a result, the owner received timely medical attention. He was
discharged from hospital in Harare on Sunday morning and 2 suspects have been
arrested and are in police custody. The owner of Malabar and his brother were
barricaded into the farm homestead by illegal occupiers who proceeded to beat
drums through the night. The following day, illegal occupiers broke down the
security fence and proceeded to bang on the homestead windows and turn on hose
pipes pushed under the doors in an attempt to flood the house. Illegal occupiers
tried to force farm works from 3 neighbouring farms to participate in their
actions, which some refused to do so, resulting in about 4 farm workers being
taken away by illegal occupiers for "re-education". The situation was defused.
Macheke / Virginia - The cattle manager on a sub section of Changwe Ranch
was physically assaulted by illegal occupiers. 7 illegal occupiers advised the
owner of Hazeldene that about 34 illegal occupiers were due to arrive and then
demanded accommodation, which was reused and as a result, the 7 illegal
occupiers are camping outside the homestead security fence. Agritex officials
were pegging on Drylaw Hill. 10 illegal occupiers threatened to close down
farming operations on Hops farm and proceeded to camp outside the owners
homestead security fence. The situation has been defused.
Wedza - Illegal
occupiers forced farm workers out of their homes on Fox-Trot Farm and then
stole doors amongst other items. On Farm Tango, illegal occupiers confiscated
wire from the fencing team. The owner of Indigo Farm has been given 10 days to
vacate the farm. DDF tractors are ploughing on several farms in the area.
Illegal occupiers have chased farm workers out of the farm villages on 7 farms
in the district, forcing farm workers to reside in the farm barns and shed
complexes. 3 farm owners have been prevented from moving any wood, being told
the wood no longer belongs to them. MIC Wedza police, is referring all problems
to the DA. Pegging continues on many farms with duplication taking place
Mutare - Irrigation pipes were stolen on
Mountain Home. Illegal occupiers blocked a road on Laverstock and the owner has
since resolved the situation.
Hunters Road - On the night of
Friday, 3rd August, 2001, an elderly cattle farmer, Mr Ralph Fenwick Corbett,
had his house broken into and was seriously assaulted. His assailants tied his
hands with wire and hit him on the head with an axe. He was discovered in the
morning by his houseworker who immediately sought assistance from relations of
Mr Corbett’s on a neighbouring farm. They arranged transport to Kwe Kwe
Hospital, where he could not be attended to because of the Doctor’s strike. He
was finally attended to at Stanley House and then taken by MARS to Harare where
he is now on a life support system. Evidence, at this time, does not point to
war veterans being involved in the crime but it is felt to have been perpetrated
as a direct result of the current lawlessness in farming
SOUTH AFRICA-ZIMBABWE: Mbeki says he failed on Zimbabwe
August (IRIN) - South African President Thabo Mbeki said
in an interview
broadcast on Monday that his efforts to avoid political,
social and economic
collapse in Zimbabwe had failed. Mbeki told BBC’s
‘Hard Talk’ that the total
collapse of Zimbabwe was the greatest threat to
South Africa and the rest of
Mbeki added that he hoped a new Commonwealth initiative would
Zimbabwe. “We sit across the border from Zimbabwe, and critical for
Africa must surely be that we don’t have a situation that the IMF
about at the beginning of this year: a meltdown in Zimbabwe.” Mbeki
he did not know why his efforts to persuade Zimbabwe President
Mugabe to moderate his actions had not been effective. “What I know
that we can’t afford the complete collapse of Zimbabwe on our borders,
we have got to try and do whatever we can,” Mbeki said.
president added that sanctions against Mugabe, who is facing
elections next year, could hasten the collapse of the
country. “Sure, time is
Which means we have got to act quickly and continue to say it is
to respond positively to these issues,” he said. “There is a land
in Zimbabwe, there is need for land redistribution, but it must be
differently, without violence, without conflict, within the context
law, bearing in mind the interests of all Zimbabweans, both black
Meanwhile the state-owned ‘Herald’ newspaper said on
Monday that a group
of Commonwealth foreign ministers is scheduled to meet in
Abuja next week
to seek ways to heal strained relations between Zimbabwe and
newspaper said that Nigeria had invited the foreign ministers of
Africa, Kenya, Australia, Jamaica, Britain and Zimbabwe to the meeting.
- Farmer critical after axe attack - Irish
- Aborigines enlist Mugabe as ally -
- Bindura neither free nor fair -
- Cat's been at the cream -
- Zim importing Chinese tobacco - People's
- Billions for squatters -
From News24 (SA), 6
From The Irish Times, 7
White farmer critical after Zimbabwe
A white Zimbabwean farmer is critically ill after an unknown
offender assaulted him with an axe in an attack family members say was
politically motivated. Mr Ralph Corbett, 76, a rancher near the Midlands
provincial town of Kwekwe, has little chance of recovery, his daughter says. He
suffered deep head wounds in the attack at his farm about 125 miles south west
of Harare. The farm has been illegally occupied by ruling party militants since
last year. The victim's daughter, Ms Cheryl Miller said the attackers stole a
hand gun and cheque from his cheque book. His arms were trussed with wire by his
attackers. His TV, electronic equipment and other valuables were not touched,
she said. State-backed militants "are responsible for the lawlessness. They have
made it clear they want whites out of the country and this is the way they are
going about it," she said. Last December, three assailants armed with assault
rifles killed one of Mr Corbett's white neighbours and seriously wounded his son
in violence linked to Zimbabwe's disputed white-owned land.
Meanwhile, Nigerian officials said today they will host talks
next week aimed at pulling Zimbabwe out of international isolation over its
violence-wracked land reforms, in a meeting with foreign ministers of Britain
and four other Commonwealth countries. "We will be hosting the talks next week,"
foreign ministry spokesman Mr Adegbo Onoja said, declining other comment. A
state-run daily in Harare today reported that the Commonwealth group would be
meeting in Nigeria August 15-17 to seek ways to heal strained relations between
Zimbabwe and Britain over the land issue. The meeting would be the first of the
group of seven - Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Australia, Jamaica, Britain and
From The Independent (UK), 7
Aborigines 'have asked Mugabe for
help on land rights'
Harare - Zimbabwe stepped up its propaganda campaign over
seizures of white-owned farms on Monday, saying that Australian Aborigines have
enlisted the help of President Robert Mugabe in their quest for land rights.
Aboriginal activists want Mr Mugabe to lobby for them at the Commonwealth summit
in Brisbane in October, according to the government-controlled Herald newspaper.
In a letter to Mr Mugabe, the leaders of Australia's Aborigines, who were not
identified by the newspaper, claimed the Australian government had offered Mr
Mugabe tight security at the summit in an attempt to muzzle him on land rights.
The letter read: "They are scared your presence in Australia will excite
Aborigines whose land was stolen from them by white settlers."
Its allegations came after reports at the weekend that
Australian officials believed Mr Mugabe's security was at risk from human-rights
protesters and gay activists. The human rights group Amnesty International said
it was planning protests against Mr Mugabe's increasingly repressive policies at
home and his outspoken criticism of homosexuals. Others among the 50 heads of
government being targeted for protests include Kenya's President, Daniel arap
Moi, Malaysia's Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, a close friend and ally of Mr
Mugabe, and Sri Lanka's leader, Chandrika Kumaratunga. The Australian-born gay
activist Peter Tatchell has vowed to confront Mr Mugabe during the summit. Mr
Tatchell was assaulted by Mr Mugabe's bodyguards in Brussels in February when
attempting a symbolic citizen's arrest of the Zimbabwean President for human
From The Mail & Guardian (SA), 6
'Zim by-election not free or
Johannesburg - Zimbabwean opposition party the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) has claimed that the crucial weekend by-election in the
rural constituency of Bindura, convincingly won by the ruling Zanu PF, was not
free and fair. Speaking to the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg, MDC
secretary general Welshman Ncube said voters in Bindura were enclosed in
"concentration camp" like conditions. "The commercial farming areas of Bindura
was a no-go area for us," he claimed. Ncube maintains that his party members
were beaten up and the party could not campaign in the area. "And on the day of
the polls, any of the residents who were likely to vote for the MDC were beaten
up," he added.
In view of the "undemocratic" manner in which the election was
conducted, Ncube said his party - led by Morgan Tsvangirai - had met with the
African National Congress chair Mosioua Lekota, the Congress of South African
Trade Unions’ executive as well the South African Communist Party last week to
urge them to send election monitors three months prior to next year’s
presidential elections. The Zimbabwean deputy high commissioner in South Africa,
Danson Mudekunye, denied the reports of intimidation and the allegation that
elections were not free and fair. He pointed out that European Union monitors
were present during the elections: "If the MDC had won, then the election would
have been free and fair."
The Bindura by-election was widely believed to be a test case
for the political mood in the country ahead of presidential elections likely to
be held around April, when 21-year incumbent Robert Mugabe will fight for yet
another term. The Bindura seat fell vacant when MP and minister Border Gezi, a
close aide of president Robert Mugabe, was killed in a car crash in April this
year. Zanu-PF’s Elliot Manyika defeated MDC candidate Elliot Pfebve by polling
15 864 votes, 6 408 more than his rival. Pfebve had actually fared better in
last year’s elections, when he had stood against Gezi. Prior to the election,
reports had said that Pfebve and 16 of his supporters were arrested en route to
a polling station. Mudekunye said Pfebve was taken to a police station and was
warned and cautioned as he and his supporters were shouting slogans on the
polling day within the 100m radius of a polling station -- which is
On widely reported projections that Zimbabwe is heading for a
food crisis, a senior foreign affairs official said that according to the World
Food Programme’s projections, "It is a very likely possibility." A food shortage
could have severe repercussions on South Africa, with the possibility of
thousands of desperate Zimbabweans trying to enter South Africa. The foreign
affairs official said his department is monitoring the situation. Mudekunye said
the possibility of a food crisis had arisen as a result of a drought in the
southern region, which has also affected Zambia and Malawi. He said the
situation is under control at the moment, but added that there could be a
shortage of cereal in February next year.
From The Star (SA), 6
Zimbabwe's oil chief
Harare - The chair of Zimbabwe's state-run oil company was
arrested at the weekend in connection with a deal in which the cash-strapped
firm was swindled of Z$218 million, police said on Monday. Nicholas Kitikiti,
who is the chairman of the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOCZIM) and the
permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Energy, was expected to appear
in court on Monday. "Yes, he was arrested and is being investigated," said
assistant police commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena. Kitikiti is reported to have
approved a deal in which NOCZIM lost the funds to a private company Quenora
Investments, which was supposed to have procured fuel on its behalf. Except for
the past few weeks, Zimbabwe has experienced severe fuel shortages since
December 1999, while the prices have tripled over the same period. The shortage
has been attributed to corruption at NOCZIM and an acute shortage of foreign
exchange for importing the petroleum products.
From The People’s Daily (China), 6
Yunnan's Cured Tobacco Exported to
Cured tobacco produced in southwest China's Yunnan Province has
been exported to tobacco producing countries like Zimbabwe in Africa and Brazil
in South America. In recent years, this province enhanced its co-operation with
international big tobacco companies, importing advanced cultivation and
processing technologies, and learning business management experience from their
partners. The high quality of its cured tobacco has won the overseas markets.
The province has so far exported 500 tons of tobacco to Zimbabwe and, for the
first time, 39.6 tons to the Netherlands this year. Another 430 tons to be
exported to Zimbabwe is under negotiation.
From News24 (SA), 7
Billions for Zim land
Harare - The Zimbabwean government has announced that it plans
to make available R2bn for the newly resettled farmers in the next two months -
a move the local business community fears could further fuel inflation in the
country. Commerce, organised agriculture and industry have already protested
after taking into account that the government is broke. "We suspect they merely
want to print money to please the supporters they shoved into commercial farming
areas," said Christopher Marara, an economist with a commercial bank. "Where are
they going to get the cash. There is no international support and all the donor
funds have virtually dried up."
Dr Joseph Made, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural
Resettlement, maintains, however, that the money was ready and will certainly be
disbursed to the peasant farmers. David Hasluck, Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU)
director, lambasted the move, asking Made at last week's congress of the CFU:
"Where is the money coming from? If we can just print money, we do not need to
produce and we can all be happy." The minister did not respond. Made said the
new farmers needed support to enable government to achieve certain targets set
for the agriculture sector for livestock and crop production for the season
Made said: "Cereal production has generally declined over the
last 10 years. The issue of cereal production is very, very important in terms
of our food security and industrial growth. To this effect, I would like to
indicate that we have set targets for the other sectors other than the
commercial farming sector." With the R2bn to be available in the 2001/2002
farming season, the smallholder sector is expected to reach a target of 4.8
million tons of maize next year, he added.
But the figures were described by the spokesperson for commerce
and industry as a wish list. In the past, the combined output of Zimbabwe's
farmers never got anywhere near the tonnage set by the minister. The highest
return since independence is around 2 million tons. This year, both the
smallholder and commercial sectors produced a total maize crop of only 1.4
million tons, which is less than the domestic annual requirement of 2.1 million
tons. The smaller crop was the result of lawlessness and erratic rainfall. The
shortfall means Zimbabwe, once a breadbasket of southern Africa will be forced
to import the staple, maize, in the face of non-existent currency reserves and
dwindling international support.
Zimbabwe's domestic debt rose sharply by R13bn in less than 12
months to R30bn because of increased state spending arising from the ruling
party's bid to garner political support and the continued lack of foreign
donations, economists said on Wednesday. The figures were confirmed in the
latest central bank report showing that the size of the debt has been rising
since June last year from R17bn and was likely to worsen as the political
temperature rises before the watershed Presidential election set for next year.
Further, the beleaguered government has kept on pressing the Reserve Bank of
Zimbabwe to advance money to its ministries.
Made told angry commercial farmers: "It is my hope that soon
after this congress we will be receiving your proposals as to what your
projected production will be for the commercial farming sector. "It will also be
important for this proposal to include the resources that you anticipate to
utilise in order to achieve your production proposals, that is the budget,
inclusive of foreign currency requirements as well as the support you will need
from the ministry." In response, the farmers said while the availability of
resources were an important part of organised agriculture, the government must
act on lawlessness and remove price controls. Hasluck said the controls on maize
and wheat marketing imposed by the government last month would discourage