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

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Thursday 8th August 2001
12:00 hrs
We have received several reports, as yet unconfirmed, of disturbances in Harare city centre.  We would advise that you stay clear of the city centre as a precaution and recommend that you contact friends and relatives to do the same.
Malcolm Vowles
CFU Deputy-Director (Regions)

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This is from a friend of mine who lives in Banket.   This is her experience of the Chinhoyi incident.
Dear all

This place has gone mad.

I am finally home after one of the most bizarre days of my life (as I write
there is a song on the TV 'How Bizarre' - quite appropriate!).  This morning
I left B. at home (sick and vomiting - B. is now better so it is
obviously B.'s turn!) while I made a quick trip to Chinhoyi to see the
Doctor.  I changed vehicles to the truck on my way through Banket, and at
the mill one of the workers who lives in Chinhoyi told me not to go to
Chinhoyi today as there was going to be trouble there.  I ignored these
warnings and went anyway.  what a mistake!

While I was at the doctor, a man was rushed into the surgery with stab
wounds on his arm - he had been attacked outside OK Bazaars in the town!
ZANU (PF) was on the rampage in town, and attacking any white people they
came across.  (I attach a report from Zim news below, highlighting many of
the stories).  I list only a few- it would take me all night to cover all

 They hauled a black man out of a white man's car at a robot (traffic light), hit him and threatened to kill him if they ever saw him travelling
with a white man again.

An 87 year old  white man was pulled out of Farm & City Centre, and beaten
severely.  I think he is in hospital. (theLeared's father).

A whole lot of people were locked into Dr Stilgoe's rooms, the story is that
one of them went into labour and gave birth to a baby girl right there!!
(this isn't confirmed, so cant swear to it!).

Several white shop owners were pulled out of their shops and beaten on the

A teacher from the school was beaten on the face INSIDE THE POLICE STATION
by a ZANU (PF) supporter, in full view of the police.  The police refused to
take a statement.  She was there to find out if her husband was alright
after spending the night in the cells together with about 11 other white men
who had been arrested late yesterday afternoon.

by tonight no charges have been laid against these men, but they are still
locked in cells.  we think that they have been separated and are in
different jails around the countryside.  They had gone to try and rescue a
farmer who had been besieged by so-called 'war vets' (read 'moronic
hooligans') in his house.  Police had promised to react to his distress
calls by sending an officer by bicycle ( a distance of nearly 30km!).  after
a bit of a rucus at the farm, the whites went, voluntarily, to the police
station to make a report and to lay charges against these thugs, who had
severely beaten some of them.  Of course, they were the ones to be arrested!

Most of these people are Chinhoyi businessmen and many are good friends of
ours. I overheard the wife of one of the women speaking to a white police
reservist on the radio today, asking him to wish her husband, who spent the
night in Banket stocks, a happy anniversary.

What is most disturbing about this all is that our country is being ruled by
these racist ZANU (PF) thugs.  They are the ones in charge, and we are
powerless against them.  I know that the press do their best at trying to
cover the stories, but the cynic in me cannot help but believe that, had the
thugs been white, and the victims black, the world-wide outcry would be alot

Because I could not drive safely through Chinhoyi I spent the whole day up
at the school, helping with answering the hundreds of frantic parents
questions on the telephone, and waiting for evening and the school play.
They put on The Jungle Book, an excellent show, and I doubt there was a dry
eye in the audience after the final song - 'The Bear Necessities.  There
were many women in the audience whose husbands are languishing in jail, and
the teacher who had been assaulted at the police station was the pianist -
despite what she had gone through, she just soldiered on!  I found it quite
surreal to be doing something so civilised like watching a play after such a
violent and shattering day.

we are now home, safe and sound.  I cannot imagine what our friends are
going through, and just pray that this madness comes to an end soon.  If
there were any people from Chinhoyi trying to decide whether they should
leave this country, I think the events today will have made their minds up
for them.  we cannot even afford the air tickets at this stage - at nearly
Z$1,200,000.00 for the four of us to fly to the UK!!

Oh, well, I feel a bit better having got that off my chest.  here follows
the cutting from the ZIMNEWS.  Sleep well. Lots of love C. & Co

From ZWNEWS, 7 August

Zanu thugs on rampage in Chinhoyi

6 August

At 9:00 am  on 6 August, farmers in the Chinhoyi district received a
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 seriously
enough to be hospitalised. The besieged farmer was eventually found
barricaded inside the house, out of reach of his radio.

The police eventually arrived and requested that the eleven farmers report
to Chinhoyi police station to give statements. On arrival at the station,
the farmers were arrested. In addition, a 72-year old man who arrived later
to bring blankets for those who had been arrested was also detained. No Zanu
PF supporters were arrested.

7 August

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 to 20.

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 went 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 - six of them women. Chinhoyi police have now advised all white
residents of the town to leave.

From ZWNEWS, 7 August

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 Mpofu.

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
Chinhoyi 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?"

From BBC News, 7 August

White farmers held in Zimbabwe

More than 15 white farmers are reported to have been arrested in Zimbabwe
after a confrontation with militant government supporters. Friends of the
farmers, speaking from the town of Chinhoyi, about 100 kilometres (60 miles)
north-west of the capital Harare, told the BBC their colleagues were now in
jail but had not yet been charged. The Zimbabwean police were not available
for comment.

The white farmers' friends said their colleagues were arrested by the police
after a fight broke out on one of the white-owned farms in the area. 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
his house. At least two of the farmers were hurt during the subsequent
fight. One is reported to be suffering from broken ribs. The farmers said
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 violence. Another white farmer, Ralph Corbett, was seriously ill after
being attacked last Friday. 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.

This is the Government's ludicrous report on the incident..........

Text of report by Zimbabwean radio audio web site on 7 August

Government has called upon war veterans as well as people who have settled
on commercial farms and the white farmers to exercise restraint in cases
where confrontation develops.

The call was made by Mashonaland West Governor Comrade Peter Chanetsa after
a group of white commercial farmers yesterday attacked settlers at (Liston
Shield) farm near Alaska.

The attack, which left many people injured, came after the settlers and farm
owner (Antony Barclay) clashed over the issue of movement of the settlers
around the farm.

Several white farmers who took part in the attack are being held at Chinhoyi
police station, where they are assisting with investigations.

Governor Chinedza advised disgruntled white commercial farmers to forward
their grievances to the authorities, and not take the law into their own

Source: ZBC Radio 3 audio web site, Harare, in English 0600 gmt 7 Aug 01
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National Post - Canada

Zimbabwe mobs lash out at whites
'These people must not provoke us,' declares Mugabe supporter as farm invasions continue

David Blair and Peta Thornycroft
The Daily Telegraph, with files from Agence France-Presse
Howard Burditt, Reuters

When wives and family members of farmers arrested this week attempted to visit their husbands yesterday, they were met by a mob of youths.

CHINHOYI, Zimbabwe - Mobs loyal to President Robert Mugabe went on the rampage in Zimbabwe yesterday, beating whites at random and injuring seven women and three men.

Police told whites to keep out of Chinhoyi, a town 100 kilometres northwest of Harare, after supporters of Mr. Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Unity-Patriotic Front party massed in the streets, stoning cars carrying whites and attacking one woman in her 70s while she lined up in a post office.

The warning came the day after an elderly white farmer died in hospital in Harare after being beaten by suspected farm invaders.

Ralph Fenwick Corbett, 76, is the seventh white farmer killed since pro-government militants began forcibly occupying white farms 18 months ago.

Mr. Mugabe has lost no opportunity to vilify whites in public and has encouraged his followers to invade 1,700 of their farms. Critics have repeatedly said Mr. Mugabe's fiery and racist rhetoric would eventually provoke mob violence in a country where race relations have been generally harmonious.

Chinhoyi lies on one of Zimbabwe's main tourist routes: the main road linking Harare with Mana Pools National Park and Lake Kariba.

The violence was apparently sparked by the arrest of 22 white farmers on Monday night. The farmers said they were responding to an appeal for help from landowner Tony Barklay after squatters who have occupied his farm stormed his house. The farm invaders claimed they were attacked by the farmers.

When police arrived, they ordered the whites to report to Chinhoyi police station where they were arrested on charges of "public violence" and assault. They were still in custody last night.

When six of the farmers' wives tried to visit their husbands yesterday morning, they found a mob of about 40 youths wearing ZANU-PF T-shirts massed outside the police station.

Two of the women were attacked and the gang then rampaged through the streets, assaulting whites at random.

Dr. Chris Lewis treated five of the victims for cuts, bruises and concussion.

He said one woman in her 70s was set upon by two men inside the post office, near the ZANU-PF headquarters building.

"They called her a 'white bitch' and then they hit her. She was badly slapped around. She was quite hysterical," he said.

Another patient was a woman in her late 60s who was assaulted as she waited at the checkout in a supermarket on the main street. Witnesses said she was jostled by four men, one of whom rammed her with a shopping trolley.

Dr. Lewis also gave 45-year-old Hendrik Spreeth 20 stitches for two stab wounds, each more than seven centimetres deep.

"He was chased down the street by four men. He was kicked, beaten, punched and stabbed in the arm," the doctor said.

Betty Smith, 80, a farmer, was in a store on the main street when her son, John, 50, joined her.

"His shirt was torn to pieces and the blood was pouring down. They beat him with sticks and they beat the hell out of him. I came here in 1948 and I never even imagined it could be like this," she said.

Another 40-year-old woman was punched in the face as she left the police station. She had visited to register her car and was hit through the window as she drove away.

"This was clearly orchestrated," one farmer said. "The farmers were in jail and they knew that white people would come and visit them. They had the mob waiting."

Philip Chiyangwa, the ZANU-PF MP for Chinhoyi and the local party leader, blamed farmers for the violence.

He accused them of attacking squatters on their land.

"When these farmers go haywire, they begin to start using their guns," he said. "There should not be any provocation from the farmers. These people must not provoke us."

In the Corbett case, a black worker found the old man lying unconscious on his bedroom floor on Saturday morning. The intruders had trussed him up and bludgeoned him with an axe, leaving the walls of the room covered in blood. His telephone line had been cut.

Mr. Corbett had lived alone since the death of his wife, Norma, in 1992.

His cattle ranch, Lannes Farm, near Kwekwe, 240 kilometres southeast of Harare, was occupied by squatters a year ago and has been overrun by up to 100 followers of Mr. Mugabe.

A handgun and a blank cheque were stolen during the raid and it is unclear whether the attack was politically motivated.

But landowners believe no incident of this sort can be separated from the land invasions.

Malcolm Vowles, a spokesman for the Commercial Farmers Union, said yesterday it was unclear if occupiers on Mr. Corbett's farm had murdered him.

But he said the attack was "certainly linked to the prevailing lawlessness and to the fact that at this time, it would be seen that there would be no consequence to committing a crime against a white person."

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Zimbabwe slides towards chaos as whites are beaten in the street

(Filed: 08/08/2001)

David Blair and Peta Thornycroft in Chinhoyi trace the spiral of violence that has ended a multiracial dream.
WHEN a chanting mob of squatters massed at the gates of Tony Barklay's homestead on Monday night, the Zimbabwean farmer decided the situation was too dangerous for him to face alone.
The gang demanded to speak to him and, when he retreated inside the house, they tried to smash down the door and break in. Mr Barklay immediately sent out an emergency appeal on the radio and about 25 neighbouring farmers responded.
What happened next provided the excuse for the random attacks on whites that swept the nearby town of Chinhoyi yesterday. The squatters say the farmers opened fire and launched a savage attack on them.
Philip Chiyangwa, the local MP from Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, accused the landowners of "going haywire" and venting their frustration on the squatters, who have occupied their land and committed countless thefts and acts of vandalism.
"White farmers ganged up," said Mr Chiyangwa. "They attacked innocent people who were settling on their land. Some of the settlers lost their limbs in the process. The result was that they incensed the settlers." Police said farmers had seriously injured five people in the clash.
The landowners deny this version of events. As they roared towards Mr Barklay's farm, they say, squatters stoned their cars and in the ensuing chaos launched yet another attack on them.
Police were quickly on the scene but they had clearly decided only one side of the story was worth listening to. They arrested 22 farmers. No invaders were apprehended.
The farmers were taken to Chinhoyi police station and crammed into the cells, alongside dozens of hardened criminals. They were accused of "public violence" and "assault".
By yesterday, word of the clashes had spread among Zanu-PF supporters in Chinhoyi. Although the town is surrounded by white-owned farms, it is one of Mr Mugabe's strongholds.
His place-men run the local police and Zanu-PF mobs operate out of their party headquarters on the shabby main street. When six of the arrested farmers' wives tried to visit them, they found a mob of 40 massed outside the police station.
Some wore the standard uniform of Mr Mugabe's mobs - T-shirts emblazoned with his face - and all were armed with sticks, whips and clubs. One woman was punched and the others fled.
This was the signal for the gangs to attack whites on sight. Fanning out from the police station and the Zanu-PF headquarters, the gangs ran down Chinhoyi's main street, attacking white-owned businesses.
Magdalina Hartmann, 72, was queuing in the post office to withdraw money. One man swore at her three times before lashing out. "Someone in the queue pulled him off, but no one from the post office came to help me," she said.
John Batiss, 61, was set upon by 10 men on the forecourt of his petrol station. He said: "They shoved me to the ground and kicked and beat me. I couldn't defend myself. I was bleeding and hurting."
Mr Batiss and his daughter Lara went to the police station to lay charges, unaware that the police had clearly been ordered to turn a blind eye to attacks on whites.
Mr Batiss said: "A policeman tried to grab me and we decided to get out of there. When I got to my vehicle, its tyres had been slashed."
Louis Uys, 47, a farmer, happened to be in Chinhoyi and stopped to chat to a fellow landowner, Christian Erlank. Suddenly a pick-up with "Zanu-PF" stencilled on its side roared to a halt and the thugs inside seized Mr Erlank.
As they began to drag him away, Mr Uys struggled free, jumped into his car and escaped, although the gang smashed his windscreen. Mr Erlank was frogmarched to Zanu-PF headquarters and severely beaten.
Alex Ross, 79, was threatened when a gang burst into his travel agency. He is a British citizen who emigrated to Zimbabwe in 1982.
Long-suffering representatives of the Commercial Farmers' Union began logging reports of assaults at their office, just off the main street. Shocked whites began gathering there, hoping it was a place of safety.
By 11am the police had used the farmers' radio network to send out an alert warning all whites to stay away from Chinhoyi.
Shops and garages owned by whites were closed, along with the CFU office, as people fled to the safety of farms and the nearby town of Banket.
No white faces were visible in the bustling town, which lies on one of Zimbabwe's main tourist routes and is totally dependent on the surrounding commercial farms.
Set amid rolling hills and lush fields, Chinhoyi is the capital of Mashonaland West province and the main meeting place for the tightly knit white farm community.
On a normal day the shops lining its main street are visited by farmers' wives, while families gather at the country club. Yet Chinhoyi is ringed by impoverished black townships, and an overcrowded communal area is barely 20 miles away.
Local residents have no doubt that the spate of attacks was planned and that it illustrates a crucial stage in Zimbabwe's descent into lawlessness.
One said: "This was all orchestrated. They knew white people would be coming into town and they were waiting for them.
"The campaign against us is becoming more violent and aggressive. The heat is definitely being turned up."
Mr Mugabe blames whites for founding the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and accuses them of plotting his overthrow. No presidential speech passes without a furious attack on the white minority.
Yet whites used to be able to walk the streets without fear and visitors to Zimbabwe would remark on the absence of racial tension. Yesterday's events in Chinhoyi have changed all that.
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Forwarded from
We are very aware of the serious human rights violations taking place in Zimbabwe and our researchers are constantly monitoring the situation and reports of abuses. We have issued a report this year detailing our concerns and recommendations. These can be seen on our website at:
I am also attaching a copy of our latest urgent action from Zimbabwe as an example of some of the work we are doing their on behalf of those suffering human rights abuses. If you would like further information please visit our website.
If your friends in Zimbabwe would like to contact our researchers with regards to any violations they, or people they know, have suffered.
The contact address is: 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 8DJ; E-mail: I hope this information is helpful.
 Yours sincerely Information and Publicity Office
Amnesty International
AI Index: AFR 46/005/2001 20 July 2001 UA 181/01
Fear for safety
ZIMBABWE Opposition political activists 
Other residents and communities in Bindura constituency
Political activists, especially those supporting the main Zimbabwean opposition party, and other residents in Bindura constituency, Mashonaland Central Province, are being targeted and attacked as a parliamentary by-election on 28-29 July draws close. Amnesty international is concerned for their safety.
In recent weeks there has been an escalation of politically-motivated attacks, assaults and abductions in Bindura District. Although some clashes have reportedly involved both ruling party and opposition supporters, eyewitness reports indicate that most of the victims have been activists or supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), or residents and communities which do not openly support either party. They also indicate that armed activists and supporters of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) have instigated and perpetrated the violence in the majority of incidents.
According to reports, armed ZANU-PF supporters have made house-to-house searches for residents believed to be MDC supporters. In mid-June, Makundwei Motsi Muzavazi of the Musana communal lands area was assaulted by ZANU-PF supporters armed with chains and sticks, because they believed he was an MDC supporter. He required hospital treatment in Harare for injuries to his head. ZANU-PF supporters have also assaulted a number of MDC campaigning officials, including Felix Kunaka, Bindura district chairman for the MDC, Kifas Madzongere, Bindura District MDC youth chair, Tom Walter, the MDC district secretary, and Peter Mabika, deputy district chairman. They and other activists have been forced to flee into hiding, out of fear for their own safety and that of their families. The police are failing to take adequate steps to arrest perpetrators and prevent incidents of violence and intimidation, and appear in some cases to have arrested opposition party activists in order to prevent them from campaigning.
In addition, road blocks manned jointly by police, security police and ZANU-PF supporters are reportedly used to stop and search travellers for evidence of support for the MDC, thus hampering freedom of movement, for journalists, monitors, opposition activists and others involved in activities relating to the by-election. On 11 July Reason Chikono and five other MDC youth activists were abducted from the Musana area and assaulted by a group of ZANU-PF supporters. After the group passed a police post, police officers intervened. Although the MDC youths were visibly injured, the police took no action against the ZANU-PF supporters holding them captive. On the contrary, they took Reason Chikono and the five other MDC youths into custody for questioning. They were brought before Bindura Magistrate's Court on 13 July on suspicion of involvement in clashes with ZANU-PF supporters. They were released on bail.
In some cases, MDC youth arrested by the police have alleged that they were assaulted at the time of arrest, including several members of a group of 19 MDC youth supporters arrested while putting up campaign posters. In a separate case, about 30 MDC youth activists were allegedly dropped by police some 150 km from Bindura and told to "campaign from here". Scores of people have reportedly fled the Bindura area. Those who have fled include teachers, who are being particularly targeted as suspected MDC supporters, and other civil servants. Victims who have fled often do not wish to be named, out of fear of being marked as MDC supporters.
Amnesty International is concerned at the apparent impunity for perpetrators of politically-motivated attacks. The organization fears that human rights violations may continue in Bindura after the by-election, regardless of its outcome, and in connection with pending by-elections and the presidential elections due in early 2002.
The by-election in Bindura follows the death of Border Gezi, who died in a car accident on 28 April. Border Gezi won the Bindura seat for ZANU-PF in the June 2000 national elections, and was Minister of Youth Development, Gender and Employment Creation. The ZANU-PF candidate for the by-election is Elliot Manyika, the Governor of Mashonaland Central Province. The Bindura area suffered serious political violence in the run-up to the June 2000 elections. On 1 May 2000, Matthew Pfebve, the brother of Elliot Pfebve, the MDC candidate at the time and in the current by-election, was abducted from the family's home village in Nyakatondo and killed, allegedly by armed ZANU-PF supporters. Elliot Pfebve's elderly father was severely injured at the same time. To date the perpetrators have not been brought to justice.
Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in English or your own language: - urging the authorities to protect all persons in Bindura District from human rights violations, regardless of their real or perceived political affiliation; - urging the authorities to ensure freedom of movement in the area for journalists, human rights monitors and observers at all times; - urging the authorities to ensure that police officers carry out their duties in accordance with the international standards relating to public order policing and to the arrest and detention of all persons; - calling for all killings, assaults and other serious human rights abuses to be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated; - urging the President and government to act immediately to end human rights violations and to condemn public statements which could incite further abuses.
APPEALS TO (Time difference = GMT + 2 hrs / BST + 1 hrs):
The Hon. John Nkomo [Salutation: Dear Minister] Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs Private Bag 7703, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telegrams: Minister of Home Affairs, Harare, Zimbabwe Fax: 00 263 4 726 716 Mr Augustine Chihuri [Salutation: Dear Commissioner] Commissioner of Police, Police Headquarters, PO Box 8807, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telegrams: Commissioner of Police, Harare, Zimbabwe Fax: 00 263 4 728 768 Assistant Commissioner Guyosi [Salutation: Dear Sir] The Officer Commanding, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Mashonaland Central Province Provincial Headquarters, Box 120, Bindura, Zimbabwe Telegrams: Commanding Police Officer, Bindura, Zimbabwe Fax: 00 263 71 6200
President Robert Mugabe [Salutation: Your Excellency] Office of the President, Private Bag 7700 Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe
Telegrams: President, Harare, Zimbabwe Fax: 00 263 4 728 799 / 708 557
High Commission of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe House, 429 Strand, London WC2R 0SA Email:
Newspapers The Editor, The Herald, PO Box 396, Harare, Zimbabwe
The Editor, The Daily News, PO Box 1040, Harare, Zimbabwe
Human Rights Organization Amani Trust, PO Box 5465, Harare, Zimbabwe
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  • Rancher beaten, charged - ZWNEWS
  • Mob rampages through Chinhoyi - DTel
  • Farmer dies, farmers and MDC men arrested - Guardian
  • Bread prices double since January - IRIN 
  • Commonwealth ultimatum - ZimStd

From ZWNEWS, 8 August

Nyathi rancher beaten, to be charged with attempted murder

Matabeleland rancher David Joubert was yesterday ambushed in the Nyathi district by Zanu PF thugs, severely assaulted within the presence of seven police officers, and then arrested and taken to the local police station. He is expected to be charged with attempted murder today. This latest assault incident occurred after more than twenty farmers were arrested in Chinhoyi on Monday and Tuesday, and the death in hospital of Ralph Corbett, 76, a farmer from Kwekwe in the Midlands, who sustained fatal head injuries on Friday during an axe attack by a Zanu PF mob.

The same group who attacked Joubert had earlier been ferried onto his ranch near Turk Mine north of Bulawayo in government vehicles on Sunday evening. They camped overnight, and then on Monday abducted thirteen people from the nearby mine. Later that day they laid an ambush for Joubert’s game guards. In the melee which followed, in which the abducted people were used as human shields, the game guards fired shots from their shotguns, and several members of the gang, and the abductees, sustained minor birdshot injuries. The game guards managed to escape, but the mob then rampaged through the ranch compound and burnt several of the staff quarters to the ground.

It is presumed that the charges expected to be brought against Joubert relate to this earlier incident, although Joubert was nowhere near the scene of the ambush and subsequent arson. As has become the norm in Zimbabwe, Joubert – a victim of a severe assault – was arrested, while none of his attackers have been apprehended. In the more extreme cases such as this one, and the incidents in Chinhoyi yesterday, in which people were assaulted inside a police station, the police have stood by and watched as serious crimes take place.

After the Monday ambush of the game guards on Joubert’s ranch was reported, the Nyathi police had initially responded in a professional manner. However, after pressure from the governor of Matabeleland North, Obert Mpofu, and the arrival in Nyathi of Detective Inspector Marima from Bulawayo – notorious in the Matabeleland capital for being a Zanu PF placeman – the behaviour of the police changed. Marima was involved in the abduction and assault several weeks ago of the MDC MP for Nyathi, Fletcher Dhulini. A senior and reliable source within the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Matabeleland, known to be strongly opposed to the state-sponsored lawlessness which has spread across the country, confirmed on Monday that orders have been received from headquarters in Harare that violent incidents were to be "manufactured" in order to provoke farmers into reacting with violence – thus providing justification for the wholesale forcible removal of commercial farmers from their land, and/or the declaration of a state of emergency across the whole country.

From The Daily Telegraph (UK), 8 August

Mugabe mob attacks whites

A mob loyal to President Robert Mugabe went on what was described as an "orchestrated" rampage in Zimbabwe yesterday, beating whites at random and injuring at least 10. The scene of the attacks was Chinhoyi, a town 60 miles north-west of Harare, on one of the main tourist routes to Mana Pools national park and Lake Kariba. Supporters of Mr Mugabe's Zanu PF Party massed in the streets, stoning cars carrying whites and attacking shoppers, stabbing one victim. Police told whites to stay out of the town and after the violence many white townspeople fled to nearby farms. Mr Mugabe has lost no opportunity to vilify whites in public and has encouraged his followers to invade 1,700 of their farms. Critics have said repeatedly that his racial rhetoric would eventually provoke mob violence in a country where race relations have been generally harmonious. The violence was apparently provoked by the arrest of 22 white farmers on Monday night.

The men said they were responding to an appeal for help from Tony Barklay, a landowner, after squatters who had occupied his farm stormed his house. The invaders said the farmers had attacked them. When police arrived, they ordered the whites to report to Chinhoyi police station, where they were arrested on charges of "public violence" and assault. They were still in custody last night. Six of the farmers' wives tried to visit them yesterday and found a mob of about 40 youths wearing Zanu PF T-shirts massed outside the police station.

One of the women was attacked and the gang then ran through the streets, assaulting other whites. Magdalina Hartmann, 72, was assaulted in a post office where she had gone to withdraw money from her savings account. She said: "I was standing in the queue and a man came up to me and said: 'You white bitch, I am going to hurt you.' "He said it three times and then hit me on my arm. I could not stop crying then or now. I don't know what I have done to make people hate me like this." Mrs Hartmann's doctor said that she had been "badly slapped around".

Dr Chris Lewis treated five victims. He said that all were shocked. One woman was "quite hysterical". Dr Lewis treated another woman in her late sixties who was assaulted as she waited at a supermarket check-out. Witnesses said she was jostled by four men, one of whom rammed her with a shopping trolley. Hendrik Spreeth, 45, needed 20 stitches for two 3in stab wounds. Dr Lewis said: "He was chased down the street by four men. He was kicked, beaten, punched and stabbed in the arm." Betty Smith, 80, a farmer, was in a shop on the main street when her son, John, 50, joined her. She said: "His shirt was torn to pieces and the blood was pouring down." "They beat the hell out of him with sticks. I came here in 1948 and I never imagined it could be like this." A woman in her forties was punched in the face as she left the police station. She had gone there to register her car and was hit through the window as she drove away.

One farmer said: "This was clearly orchestrated. The farmers were in jail and they knew that white people would come and visit them. They had the mob waiting." Philip Chiyangwa, the Zanu-PF MP for Chinhoyi and the local party leader, blamed farmers for the violence. He accused them of attacking squatters on their land. He said: "When these farmers go haywire, they start using their guns. There should not be any provocation from the farmers. These people must not provoke us." A Foreign Office spokesman said that Brian Donnelly, the newly appointed British high commissioner, had "registered his concern at various levels in the Zimbabwean government and was awaiting their response". But by late last night there had been none.

From The Guardian (UK), 8 August

White farmer killed by Zimbabwean war veterans

Johannesburg - An elderly white farmer has been murdered in Zimbabwe and more than 20 others arrested for assault after defending themselves from attack by so-called war veterans. Ralph Corbett, 76, a rancher farming near the town of Kwekwe, was trussed with wire and beaten about the head with an axe on Friday in what his family say was a politically motivated killing. He died in hospital yesterday. Mr Corbett is the ninth white farmer killed since President Robert Mugabe launched the land invasions nearly two years ago. The murdered farmer's land has been occupied by "war veterans" for a year.

His daughter, Cheryl Miller, said the attackers stole a gun but other valuables were not touched. "The war veterans 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. In a separate incident, the Zimbabwean police said they will charge 23 white farmers with public violence and assault after detaining them for fighting with blacks. The farmers, from the Chinhoyi area about 60 miles from Harare, had gone to the assistance of one of their number after dozens of black squatters attacked his house. None of the squatters was arrested.

The state news agency, Ziana, alleged that about 60 white farmers were beating the squatters with sticks and stones in an attempt to drive them off the farm owned by Antony Barklay. But farmers' representatives claimed that the invaders barricaded Mr Barclay inside his home and he called for help. "A farm owner was besieged in his house and two farmers came to [his] assistance, and those farmers were stoned and assaulted," said Malcolm Vowles, spokesman for the Commercial Farmers' Union. The farmers say that when they called the police to say Mr Barklay's life was in danger they were told that a constable would be sent the 15 miles to the farm on a bicycle. They took this to mean the police would not help.

The farmers say that six of their wives were beaten at the Chinhoyi police station when they tried to visit. Yesterday, the police issued a warning on the farmers security radio network warning whites not to go into Chinhoyi after a mob attacked people on the streets and in a supermarket, injuring at least 10, most of them white. The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the upsurge in violence is part of a political strategy by Mr Mugabe to further intimidate his opponents.

On Monday, the police arrested the MDC's security chief and accused him of attempted murder. Tendai Nyamushanya was detained over an incident which the party describes as an assassination attempt on its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, after his convoy was attacked during a campaign last month. Mr Nyamushanya's lawyer says his client drew his gun but did not shoot anyone and that so far as he knows no one has lodged a complaint. He says the detention is purely political. Another MDC security official was arrested yesterday when he tried to take breakfast to Mr Nyamushanya in jail. Earlier this week, South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, conceded in a BBC interview that his efforts to persuade Mr Mugabe to drag his nation from the brink of collapse had proved futile.

From IRIN (UN), 7 August

Bread prices double since January

The cost of bread in Zimbabwe has more than doubled since January, after a seventh price hike in as many months, AFP reported on Tuesday, quoting a local consumer watchdog. The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) saidbread prices went up by 15 percent this week, but the domestic ZIANA news agency reported a hike of between 7.5 percent and 20 percent. A standard loaf of white bread now costs around 50 Zimbabwean dollars (US $0.90) up from 23 Zimbabwean dollars (US $0.42) in January this year.

The retail price of bread has been going up nearly every month since the beginning of the year by an average 15 percent. The consumer council has condemned the bread price hike, which bakers blame on rising cost of inputs - flour, sugar, yeast, labour and fuels. "Consumer Council (of Zimbabwe) strongly protests against unjustified monthly price hikes of basic commodities," said CCZ director Elizabeth Nerwande. A 30 percent hike in the price of bread sparked riots in the capital in October last year.

Prices of basic commodities, including fuels have doubled, in some cases tripled in the last 18 months as Zimbabwe goes through its worst ever economic crisis. "Consumers cannot finance the economic crisis forever," said Nerwande in a statement. Economists have said the southern African country is going through the "great depression" due to political instability. The current economic crisis is characterised by inflation at around 60 percent, unemployment hovering around similar rates and critical shortages of foreign currency.

From The Zimbabwe Standard, 5 August

Commonwealth gives Mugabe ultimatum

As pressure continues to mount on President Mugabe because of the prevailing anarchy in the country, it has emerged that the Commonwealth intends to act strongly against him at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Brisbane, Australia, in October. High level sources within the Commonwealth, a club of former British colonies, confided to The Standard last week that Mugabe had until October to "sort out the mess" in Zimbabwe or risk topping the meeting’s agenda. The sources said the Commonwealth had decided to use this strong approach because of the deepening crisis within Zimbabwe. State-sponsored terrorism has, over the last year, taken its toll on Zimbabwe and reduced the country to a state of lawlessness. Commonwealth countries are concerned that unless they confront Mugabe and take action against him, if necessary, the crisis in Zimbabwe could spill into neighbouring southern Africa countries with disastrous consequences for the region.

"Many southern African countries are suffering because of Mugabe’s policies. The message we are trying to get through to Mugabe is that "you are alienating yourself from the Commonwealth and we really want to help you." "We are not on a very productive path right now. Mugabe has totally rejected the United Nations initiative. He has rejected the Nigerian initiative and all this will have to be looked into at Brisbane. If he doesn’t sort out his mess, then it will be left for the leaders gathered in Brisbane to see what further action can be taken," said the source.

Diplomatic sources said the Commonwealth was now putting issues of governance high on its agenda and would take a tough stance against Zimbabwe if its record did not improve. Said the source who preferred anonymity: "Issues of governance are very much at the forefront of our work. We are the only international organisation that has set rules which our members are supposed to adhere to and we have the ability to get them to do so. We want to help Zimbabwe rebuild its democratic institutions. It is not only about having democratic elections but having democratic institutions. For example, in Fiji the army and the judiciary remained relatively stable when a coup took place last year. In Zimbabwe, these institutions have been politicised and compromised and this has to stop."

The government has been using the army and the police to ensure effective election campaigning which has included the harassment of opposition parliamentarians and their supporters. The judiciary, on the other hand, has been rocked by resignations following the ruling party’s onslaught on judges it sees as sympathetic to the opposition. The source reiterated that the Commonwealth was firmly behind a transparent, legal and orderly form of land reform. The club, he said, would not support Zanu PF’s haphazard and chaotic land reform whose purpose was political. "The land issue will remain important. There cannot be peace in Zimbabwe until the land issue is resolved, but it cannot be resolved through violence and electioneering. The process has to be sober. We have tried to engage Mugabe on the way forward on land reform but we are not getting any fruitful results. The problem is also that there are countries which are supporting him publicly and possibly giving him a false sense of security," said the source.

The Commonwealth joins a host of other international organisations and countries, among them the European Union and the United States, who have threatened to act strongly against Zimbabwe if Mugabe’s regime continues to sponsor anarchy. Mugabe and his cabinet ministers face personal sanctions from the European Union if an EU general council meeting in October resolves that he has not done enough to stop political violence and ensure the restoration of the rule of law. In June, the EU gave Mugabe a two-month deadline during which he was to end political violence and publicly commit himself to the holding of free and fair presidential elections next year.

The Standard was on Thursday vindicated when the United States Senate passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act 2001 which seeks to formalise sanctions against Zimbabwe and place travel restrictions on Mugabe, his cabinet ministers, his service chiefs and their families. Government spin doctors initially made concerted efforts to deny the story following reports that the Act had been approved by the US senate foreign relations committee. Government officials also confidently stated that the Bill would take considerable time to pass through both the Senate and the House of Representatives. However, having been fast tracked through the Senate, the Bill is now set for its final stage, debate and consideration in the House of Representatives, before American President George W Bush signs it into law. The Bush administration has already made clear, its desire to descend heavily on wayward Mugabe.

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U N I T E D  N A T I O N S
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

ZIMBABWE: Police arrest white farmers after clashes

JOHANNESBURG, 7 August (IRIN) - Zimbabwean police on Monday arrested
several white farmers after clashes with militants occupying a white-owned
farm, Reuters reported quoting farming sources. They said the clashes in
the northeastern town of Chinhoyi erupted when the militants, who had
barricaded the farm owner in his house, objected to other farmers trying
to rescue their neighbour. “They went to the police to give statements
after the incident and they were arrested,” a farmer who declined to be
named, told Reuters by telephone. He could not say how many farmers had
been arrested.

Militants led by veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s independence war have
invaded hundreds of white-owned farms since February 2000 in support of a
drive by President Robert Mugabe’s government to forcibly acquire land
from commercial white farmers for redistribution to blacks. Eight farmers
have been killed and scores of farm workers assaulted in the violence that
has followed. A number of farmers say they are unlikely to grow anything
in the coming November to April season, because invaders have stopped
farming operations and, in some cases, destroyed crops.

Last week Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the government would take
8.3 million hectares from white farmers rather than the five million
previously identified for compulsory acquisition. He also warned white
farmers not to clash with war veterans and black peasants who have
occupied their properties, after President Robert Mugabe’s government
passed legislation protecting the occupiers.
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I am asking all people to send a message of protest to the organizers of this event. We are also going to Harlem to form a Human chain around the church to prevent Mugabe from addressing this misinformed crowd.
Please for your part, either write a letter of protest to the organizers, give them a telephone call or join us in Harlem.
Zimbabwe President is Coming to Harlem

By Amadi  Ajamu
TBWT Reporter

Article Dated 8/2/2001

Dear Friends, It is with great pleasure that we announce the upcoming visit of the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe to Harlem, New York.

President Mugabe will be in New York during the month of September 2001 to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting of the Heads of State. During his official visit he will return to Harlem to address our community and update us first hand on the current situation in Zimbabwe.

Please join the ORGANIZING MEETING for President Mugabe's Return to Harlem on Friday, August 3, 2001 at 7pm at the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, 120th Street and Malcolm X Blvd, Harlem, NY.

You may recall on September 7, 2000 while in New York for the Millennium Summit of the United Nations General Assembly, the Pan African community hosted President Mugabe at the Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Harlem. Over 4,000 people rallied in support of President Mugabe and the Zimbabwean people at that historic event.

President Mugabe, the Zimbabwe African Nation Union - Patriotic Front(ZANU-PF), and the people of Zimbabwe are in the midst of fundamentally changing the political and economic paradigm on the continent of Africa. Under the slogan of "Land To The Tillers!" they have courageously embarked upon a land redistribution effort to turn over Zimbabwe's vast farmlands to the millions of poor landless indigenous people.

Heretofore, the land and the agriculturally based economy of Zimbabwe has been controlled by a handful of descendants of colonialist settler Cecil Rhodes and his British partners who forcibly stole the land from the people of Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia. President Mugabe, a veteran of the liberation struggle for independence, has led the fight to complete the process of liberation through economic independence.

Land is the basis of independence and control of the natural resources, the means of production, must be in the hands of the indigenous people.

Please join us as we honor and celebrate the Zimbabwean people and their fearless unrelenting struggle to FREE THE LAND and set an example for the continent of Africa and the Diaspora.

Amadi Ajamu

Manhattan Coordinator

Friends of Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe's white farmers prepare for court

August 8, 2001 Posted: 10:23 AM EDT (1423 GMT)

Zimbabwean farmer's wives and children, who did not wish to be identified, gather Tuesday to await news of their husbands who were arrested by Zimbabwe police in Chinhoyi.  

CHINHOYI, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- Tension ran high in this Zimbabwe town before Wednesday's court appearance by 23 white farmers arrested for allegedly assaulting supporters of President Robert Mugabe's government who were illegally occupying a white-owned farm.

There was relative freedom of movement in the center of Chinhoyi, 75 miles northwest of the capital Harare, a day after mobs of pro-Mugabe war veterans attacked whites.

A Reuters correspondent saw three truckloads of militants driving into the town Wednesday but there were no reports of trouble.

Tuesday's attacks followed the arrest the previous day of 23 white farmers following clashes with militants occupying a white-owned farm in the district. Police said five settlers were seriously injured in the skirmishes.

Witnesses said at least one white man had been stabbed and another had his ear slashed during Tuesday's retaliatory attacks.

The arrested farmers were due to appear in court later Wednesday but court officials in Chinhoyi were unavailable for details on what the charges were.

Tension on farms

Local sources said the atmosphere on surrounding farms remained tense Wednesday. They said two farmers were forced off their properties by suspected war veterans and supporters of the ruling ZANU-PF party who have illegally occupied white-owned farms with government approval since February 2000.

"There's a bit of trouble going on at the farms. One farmer's wife was chased out of her property by a mob," an official at the local branch of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) told Reuters.

He said the woman had been rescued by a neighbor driving by as the mob gave chase some 30 yards behind her.

Zimbabwe doctor Chris Lewis examines Hendrik Spreeth on Tuesday who was stabbed when a gang of youths attacked him in the main street of Chinhoyi.  

The militants say the farm invasions are a show of support for Mugabe's drive to seize 20 million acres of the 29 million acres owned by white farmers for redistribution to landless blacks.

Nine farmers have died in the violence that has accompanied the occupations, while scores of farm workers have been injured.

The latest victim was Ralph Corbett, 76, who died at a private clinic in Harare Monday night after unknown assailants allegedly hit him on the head with an ax at the weekend. His hands were tied with wire and he had been left for dead.

The CFU, grouping 4,500 mainly white farmers, said while evidence did not point to war veterans being involved in the attack, "it is felt to have been perpetrated as a direct result of the current lawlessness in farming areas."

The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change Tuesday condemned Mugabe's ZANU-PF for the violence in Chinhoyi, saying it was meant to provoke a violent response from the public to justify a state of emergency or the cancellation of presidential elections due by April.

The police denied ZANU-PF was waging a campaign of violence across the country, or that there had been attacks in Chinhoyi.

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Whites on High Alert
The Associated Press, Wed 8 Aug 2001

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — White farmers and their families braced for more racial violence as farmers accused of assaulting black squatters appeared in court Wednesday.

The 22 farmers suspected in Monday's attack were ordered held in police custody for another night and were to appear again in court Thursday. About 200 militants from Zimbabwe's ruling party gathered outside the court in Chinhoyi, 70 miles northwest of Harare.

Farmers' leaders in the corn and tobacco district said there were fears the hearing could trigger more violence against whites. Black militants are accused of attacking at least 10 whites Tuesday.

Thousands of squatters led by ruling party militants and independence war veterans have illegally occupied more than 1,700 white-owned farms since March 2000.

The farmers arrested Monday had gone to help a besieged neighbor, who had been chased into his house by militants wielding clubs and sticks, said the Commercial Farmers Union, which represents the white landowners.

The clash was believed to be timed to coincide with the upcoming Heroes' Day holiday honoring black guerrillas who fought in the independence war that ended white rule in 1980.

On Tuesday, several cars driven by whites were stoned in Chinhoyi town. Officials at a private clinic said 10 whites were hurt. Police warned whites to stay out of the town but did not arrest any suspects.

One farmer fled his home south of Chinhoyi town after receiving death threats Wednesday, but there were no reports of fresh assaults.

The government has listed 4,600 farms — about 95 percent of properties owned by whites — for ``fast track'' confiscation without compensation.

The government has ignored six court rulings ordering it to remove the squatters and to abide by its own land reform laws laying down a planned program for land nationalization.

In the Marondera farming district east of Harare, state administrator Chris Chingosho said Wednesday that white farmers were sabotaging their equipment and facilities to thwart the resettlement of landless blacks.

Farmers were pouring cement into their wells and smashing dam walls, the official Zimbabwe News Agency reported.

Ruling party lawmaker Rueben Marumahoko accused whites of obstructing the resettlement program. He called the land seizures ``the last stage in the liberation'' of Zimbabwe from white colonization, state radio reported.

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Three South Africans among farmers arrested in Zim

Deon Lamprecht & News24

Johannesburg - Three South Africans are among the 23 farmers arrested by Zimbabwean police in Chinhoyi, north-west of the capital Harare.

The farmers were arrested following violent clashes with supporters of President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF. According to the report, British nationals were also among those arrested by police.

The 23 were detained on allegations of public violence and assault with intent to cause injury. They were arrested on Monday and were expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

Farmers said they tried to defend themselves from attacks by Zimbabwe's self-styled war veterans. No militants were arrested after the clashes.

Meanwhile the South African High Commissioner Jerry Ndou has dispatched a delegation to Chinhoyi, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa has confirmed. The situation in Chinoyi late on Tuesday night was quiet, but "very tense" following a day of violence during which at least 15 whites - 11 of them women - were injured, organised agriculture spokesperson Celvin Weare said.

"Farmers and businessmen stay indoors, not daring to go outside. Anything is likely to happen, the place could explode once again," he said. He confirmed that legal representatives of the Commercial Farmers' Union (CFU) had negotiated with the Zimbabwean police on Tuesday evening for the release of the farmers who were arrested.

"We are not allowed to talk to them, however, we believe they have been charged with instigating public violence and are expected to appear in court on Wednesday. I'm in my car outside the police station and a group of Zanu-PF militants are waiting outside, if our friends are released, the crowd outside is likely to attack them".

Weare confirmed that South African and British citizens were among those in detention, but "for security reasons" declined to give names or numbers. "All I can say, is that five or six women who wanted to visit their husbands in the police cells were assaulted in full view of the police by Zanu-PF supporters.

'The women deserved it'

"The police watched with crossed arms. Their only comment was that the women deserved it."

Problems in the Chinoyi area, where most farms have been invaded for a considerable time, came to a head on Monday night when "about fifty war veterans, armed with sticks and axes" arrived on the farm of Tony Barkley. "They threatened to kill him and he called on his neighbours for help."

Two farmers arrived. "They were seriously assaulted, however, but managed to escape to call for more help."

"A group of between 25 and 60 farmers and businessmen then arrived on the scene and a scuffle ensued with the farm invaders temporarily retreating. The Chinoyi police then ordered farmers in the area to report to the police station, where those who had been involved in the incident were arrested."

Another farmer, who chose to remain anonymous, said "whites were assaulted on the streets, shop windows were broken and cars damaged".

"The police chief said he could not protect us and ordered the whites to clean up the town."

'Nobody is on our side'

He and a few other farmers installed a temporary "operations room" in a house in Chinoyi. "I don't want to say we are hiding, but it's better if Zanu-PF don't know where we are.

"We are very nervous, nobody is on our side. However, we won't arm ourselves as that results would be catastrophic, we can only hope for the best."

Inspector Tarwiyeri Tirivavi, police spokesperson told Sapa-AP that 60 farmers had assaulted five squatters. The Chinoyi clinic treated squatters and farmers for injuries.

Malcolm Fowles of the CFU said "tension between commercial farmers and squatters was increasing as both groups want to plant on the same land".

The CFU and opposition leaders in Zimbabwe lay the blame for farm invasions over the past 12 months at the door of president Robert Mugabe, who wants to consolidate his political support ahead of next year's presidential election. - Spa, News24 & Media24

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