Saturday December 10, 2005 10:46 PM
By ANGUS SHAW
Associated Press Writer
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - President Robert Mugabe conceded Saturday that
shortcomings in his land redistribution program contributed to critical food
shortages as his party wrapped up its annual conference.
Poor planning, corruption, lawlessness, vandalism, crumbling infrastructure
and shortages of fertilizer and seed have compounded the effects of
recurring drought, Mugabe told about 3,000 delegates of his Zimbabwe African
National Union-Patriotic Front gathered in the western Zimbabwe town of
``All this translates into low production and food insecurity,'' Mugabe said
in a speech broadcast on state-run television.
Mugabe's party, which has governed since independence from Britain in 1980,
strengthened its grip on power in Senate elections last month that left its
main opposition deeply divided. But party chairman John Nkomo conceded
Friday the country's economic crisis threatened to unravel the political
Zimbabwe's agriculture-based economy collapsed under the pressure of years
of erratic rains and the often violent seizure of thousands of white-owned
commercial farms for redistribution to blacks. The U.N. World Food Program
expects to feed some 3 million people next month in what was once a regional
Mugabe, who insists redistribution was necessary to right colonial-era
imbalances in land ownership, said the delegates reaffirmed the need for
Party delegates also overwhelmingly supported Mugabe's criticism of a United
Nations envoy who said humanitarian conditions in Zimbabwe were nearing
``meltdown,'' according to the party's spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira. Mugabe
on Friday called U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland a hypocrite
and a liar.
Shamuyarira accused the United Nations of exaggerating the country's need
for humanitarian assistance.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe lashed out yesterday at the few remaining white farmers in Zimbabwe at the end of a three-day ruling party conference.
Mugabe said Zimbabwe had to look after its own people’s interests first before those of white people. “We still have white Rhodesian farmers resisting land reform often supported by some of us in the party and government,” he said.
Addressing thousands of members of his Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) at the conference in Esigodini, southern Zimbabwe, Mugabe said: “We do not defend Rhodesian settler interests against those of our people,” in a speech broadcast live on radio and television.
Only about 300 white farmers out of 4,000 five years ago are left on the land.
Around a dozen white farmers have been killed in sometimes violent land seizures. At least 20 are reported to have been thrown off their farms in recent weeks.
www.chinaview.cn 2005-12-11 04:56:04
HARARE, Dec. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
said on Saturday the government would continue allocating land to people who
required it, and urged waiting applicants to be patient.
In closing remarks at the ruling Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party Eighth National People's Conference in
Esigodini, he said a number of problems had been encountered in the ongoing
land reform program, delaying allocation of farms to all who had applied.
"There were some serious bottlenecks that we are currently sorting
out. We know that we still have people who need land, who are anxious and
unsettled," he said.
Mugabe said the delays in allocating land to applicants was
worsened by former white farmers who were still clinging onto their farms,
in some cases with the support of some members of the ruling party.
He expressed dismay at the lack of proper planning in the
provision of farming inputs, saying the Ministry of Agriculture should
timeously provide farmers with essential resources.
He urged responsible ministries to support farmers fully to ensure
resettled farms were being productive. "These people need our support so
that they become productive. When rains come, we should be ready with the
seeds," he said.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister, Joseph Made said his ministry had
failed to supply farmers with adequate stocks of seed due to shortages of
the commodities in the country. He, however, hoped for adequate input
provision to farmers next year.
Zimbabweans are living in destitution after refusal of asylum
Jamie Doward, home affairs editor
Sunday December 11, 2005
Thousands of Zimbabweans who have been refused asylum in Britain are staying
on to live hand-to-mouth on food and shelter given by strangers because they
are terrified to return to their violent homeland, The Observer has learnt.
Charities and politicians will tomorrow call on the government to take
urgent action to help those forced into what they describe as a 'cruel
The Zimbabweans' plight follows a move by the government to appeal against a
ruling by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal that there was a 'real risk'
of Zimbabweans being given inhuman treatment if they were sent home. The
ruling, following a widespread hunger strike by Zimbabweans held in
detention centres and a public furore over their return, led to all removals
But the Home Office's decision to appeal against the judgment has undermined
the Zimbabweans' ability to claim refugee status and secure emergency
benefits. Unable to work, many are living in destitution, said Maeve
Sherlock, chief executive of the Refugee Council, which has joined the
All-Party Parliamentary Group on Zimbabwe to highlight the Zimbabweans'
'Many of these people won't be able to return to Zimbabwe until after
[President Robert] Mugabe has gone. This situation is completely
unsustainable,' Sherlock said.
Harris Nyatsanza, a teacher who left Zimbabwe after being imprisoned by the
country's security forces in 2003, is relying on well-wishers to feed and
house him. 'I was staying somewhere, but was told I'd been there too long,'
he said. 'The Home Office is trying to make us destitute so we'll go back. I
know of hundreds of people who can't get any support. It's winter. Where are
people going to get warm clothes?'
A Home Office spokeswoman said it would continue to provide protection for
Zimbabweans who were genuine asylum seekers. 'We're not enforcing returns,'
she said. 'We are seeking to appeal the recent tribunal ruling. However,
voluntary returns are continuing.'
The spokeswoman said that as some people were still returning to Zimbabwe,
the failed asylum seekers did not qualify for emergency shelter or food
Until last year the government had a moratorium on returning people to
Zimbabwe because it was considered to be too dangerous. But the government
feared this would attract more asylum seekers, so in November 2004 it
started the return of Zimbabweans.
Around 200 were sent back before the tribunal ruling.
Dear Zim Situation Colleagues,
FYI below our debate with Zimbabwe on the question of its membership on the UN Human Rights Council.
You are free to post on your site.
H. C. Neuer
Hillel C. Neuer
United Nations Watch
1, Rue de Varembé
1211 Geneva 20
THE WEDNESDAY WATCH
Analysis and Commentary from UN
7 December 2005
CNN Debate: Should Abusive Regimes Sit on the UN Human Rights Council?
Following is the transcript of a debate on CNN International’s “Diplomatic License” program, as first aired globally on December 2, 2005. Hosted by CNN’s Richard Roth, the debate featured Hillel Neuer, UN Watch Executive Director, and Boniface Chidyausiku, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the UN.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN ANCHOR: Critics say the
once lauded now derided United Nations Human Rights Commission is a human rights
violation on its own, but how would you revamp this 53 nation group? Welcome to
DIPLOMATIC LICENSE. I'm Richard Roth.
JOHN BOLTON, U.S. AMB. TO U.N.: We are not making
progress, adequate progress, to abolish the existing Human Rights Commission and
establish a reform body and I'm quite concerned that we won't make it by the end
of the year.
To support the vital work of UN Watch, please click here to contribute.
Sunday Independent, Ireland
RICHARD DOWNES in HARARE
'HOW many people have been here before and what unspeakable horrors
did they endure?". These thoughts ran through my mind as I sat in room G24,
intelligence wing of the Harare Central police station. A fat and very angry
officer was shouting at me: "What are you doing in our country? Why are you
spying on us?" All of my protests were thrown back with a sneer.
I asked what crime I had committed. I explained that I had
accreditation to be in Zimbabwe and a visa. "You are spying on our people,"
came the reply. Spying in Zimbabwe these days involves openly filming people
as they queue for sugar. So oppressive has the government become that the
normal business of journalism has become a serious crime in the eyes of the
agents who work in room G24.
The entire nation lives in fear of them. One army officer told me
soldiers and policemen are holding up banks and shops. Their salaries are
worthless and there is no food at barracks. Not so for the Central
Intelligence Organisation, CIO, the only organisation in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is falling off a cliff and the population is beginning to
suffer terribly. The government blames lack of rain for the food shortages
but almost no one believes them. The ruling clique has destroyed its own
food production sector and is targeting its own citizens. This is not an
African story of poor rains or infrastructure. It is deliberate government
I met Mary at night in a quiet area of the capital. She is intelligent
and outspoken, but some months ago government thugs moved in to shut her up.
Soldiers and agents attacked her family and inflicted unspeakable sexual
torture on her mother. Mary's crime was to support the opposition. Her
brother was beaten to within an inch of his life andher elderly mother may
never recover from the humiliation inflicted on her. Mary's hands and feet
are covered in scaly scars, the result of poisons poured over her by agents
of the state.
Urban residents in all the major towns and cities have been attacked
by police and army agents over the last six months in a an operation called
"clean up filth". It is clear that the president and the clique around him
regard their fellow countrymen and women as a vile underclass, to be
The reason for this is simple. Urban people have rejected Mugabe in
the last decade. Literate, informed and educated, people in towns and cities
have seen through the government's corrupt attempts at land redistribution
and reform. While few supported the status quo before the year 2000 when
4,000 white farmers owned more than half the country's land, the urban
population didn't want to see that land fall into the hands of lazy and
corrupt cronies of president Mugabe.
Their objections led to the current catastrophe. Archbishop of
Bulawayo, Pius Ncube, told me that Mugabe's actions would lead to at least
200,000 deaths by starvation in his region this coming year.
The United Nations said that 700,000 people have been directly
affected by the urban upheaval. Publicly, NGOs say the number is at least
double that; in private, citizens believe that the numbers are at least
three times what is being acknowledged.
At St Luke's Catholic hospital in the bush of northern Zimbabwe, the
starving are already being treated. Children arrive daily , bloated and sick
and lacking energy - the classic symptoms of malnutrition. More than 80 per
cent of children here are also HIV positive, so the lack of nutrition is
destroying their tiny bodies even while Aids undermines their immune
systems. The doctors told me of their fears for the coming months. "It is
much worse this year. We have little food to give them and there are almost
no drugs," one told me.
Zimbabwe is a vast open prison today. The country cannot feed itself.
The government has become a predator on its own people. Agents stalk the
population. One step out of line brings devastating consequences. And
meanwhile Zimbabweans look on as their president Robert Mugabe is feted at
international conferences and gatherings. If they had the energy, they might
rise up. But they don't.
Sunday Times (Johannesburg)
December 10, 2005
Posted to the web December 10, 2005
NEWSPAPER publisher Trevor Ncube is bringing an urgent court application
tomorrow against Zimbabwean authorities to justify why his passport was
The owner and publisher of the Mail & Guardian and Zimbabwe's Standard and
Independent had his passport impounded as he landed in Bulawayo on Thursday.
Ncube, who was attending his brother's wedding, told the Sunday Times from
Bulawayo that he suspected that there was a renewed crackdown on influential
and vocal Zimbabweans who live outside the country.
He said he was still not entirely sure why his passport had been
"I've still not been given a reason... but I was informed that the
instruction to confiscate my passport came from the Central Intelligence
Organisation," he said.
Ncube said this move by the Zimbabwean authorities would "not intimidate"
Ncube's name is reportedly on a government list of more than 17 prominent
Zimbabweans whose passports would be similarly confiscated if they travelled
back to their homeland.
Those on the list include trade unionist Raymond Majongwe, political
activist Paul Temba Nyati, and former Zimbabwean journalist Caroline
The document which contains their names states that their passports are
"deemed invalid and should be withdrawn on sight".
On Friday Ncube said: "I've been to the immigration office where they have
my passport and they are waiting for an instruction to ship it to Harare."
Describing the action as unlawful and ridiculous, Ncube said he was a
patriotic Zimbabwean with business interests both in his own country and
South Africa. He said he was not deterred and would continue to speak out
against injustices where they existed.
Ncube's newspaper has in recent years published articles critical of
President Robert Mugabe's government.
9 December 2005
Today the people's will has once again triumphed. It is common cause that
all democratic struggles have been known to be associated with detractors
and revisionists. These are normal diversionary tactics deployed by the
enemy to slow down the people quest for a democratic dispensation.
I want to thank the people of Zimbabwe for standing with us as the state and
its agents attempt in vain to destabilize their struggle. Over the years the
people have overcome the hurdles set before them. Today's judgment is yet
another triumph for the democratic forces.
I must congratulate the people for their resilience against an otherwise
vicious tyrant. I want to remind that the leadership of a democratic
struggle cannot be decided by any quarter other than the people themselves.
I believe that together we will achieve our cherished goal of freedom for
all the citizens. The court challenge is one of the numerous diversionary
tactics designed to slow down our struggle. We can see through it.
The crisis in Zimbabwe remains and is deteriorating. It has now become clear
to all Zimbabweans from different political persuasions that the crisis will
not go away unless we resist this dictatorship. The crisis in Zimbabwe is a
crisis of governance. The challenge before us is to rally the nation, rally
the people and rally international community to help end the current crisis.
I am happy to note that the United Nations is now clear on the scale of the
Zimbabwean disaster. The recent visit to Zimbabwe by the UN envoy confirms
the validity of our position that the UN Security Council must now consider
our case seriously. Jan Egeland has confirmed what Anna Tibaijuka found be
unacceptable in our society. The humanitarian emergencies that confront this
nation as a result of dictatorial politics are immense. The scale of human
suffering has reached unacceptable levels.
Millions are without food. Millions are out of work. Millions are living
with HIV and Aids, without support and without basic necessities. As I have
said before that we have turned the corner. We have a problem with the
election management system in this country. The electoral route cannot
deliver change for the people. Our search for relief, through the legal
route in the face of tyranny, has disappointed the people since 2000. We
tried to pursue dialogue as an option. But it appears, to a tyrant, dialogue
means capitulation. The tyrant is insincere and does not care about the
plight of the people. The options for the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis
are getting fewer by the day. The regime has closed down all options.
The struggle for the people's freedom must intensify. The arena for
resistance cannot be decided by the regime if that struggle is to succeed.
In turning the corner, we have decided to pursue the route of democratic
resistance with Mugabe and his regime. The people must mobilize. May I call
on the leadership of civil society to join hands with the MDC and assume
positions at the forefront of this struggle.
Our institutional renewal and leadership re-generation programmes have
reached an advanced stage as we put final touches to our Congress process. I
am happy to announce that most of our provinces are ready for their
Congresses. The process begins to roll in Harare and Chitungwiza at tomorrow
I am convinced that the route of democratic resistance shall deliver the
people's freedom in a short space of time and therefore end their suffering.
I believe that we will triumph over the tyranny. If Robert Mugabe thought he
had an early Christmas present in the form of a dead MDC, he shall now get a
New Year wake-up call. The MDC is emerging stronger after the events of the
past two months.
I thank you.
Sunday, December 11 2005 @ 12:03 AM GMT
Contributed by: Reporter
Civil servants mainly teachers who were forced to conduct the
recently held controversial senate elections are bitter after being paid a
paltry $800 000. Teachers interviewed said they only received the meagre pay
out after exerting pressure on the reluctant Zimbabwe Election Commission
officials. They said this illustrates the sadistic nature of the Zanu PF
government 'that abuses and spills you'.
Teachers in Gwanda were reportedly told to'behave themselves as
professionals' after approaching Mathamsanqa Dube who is the coordinator of
the ZEC in the province. "This is very bad, after forcing us into conducting
elections, they are now paying us peanuts, this is slavery", fumed one
teacher on condition of anonymity.
In Masvingo, they were paid $1,5 million after two weeks of
struggle with the authorities. Albert Muzenda who is chairperson of the
Workers Union said the insignificant pay-out came after threatening an
The Progressive Teachers' Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) through their
firebrand trade unionist, Raymond Majongwe has previously warned teachers
not to take part in an election.
Sunday, December 11 2005 @ 12:05 AM GMT
Contributed by: correspondent
The rate of inflation in Zimbabwe gained 91 percentage points
last month to reach 502,4 percent on the back of continued price increases,
the Central Statistical Office (CSO)reported friday. The new rate of
inflation surged forward because of price of meat, clothing, confectionery
and beverages. The CSO also cited increased demand for bicycles, home
rentals and hairdressing salons as inflation drivers. Analysts said the
continued increase in the rate of inflation was not surprising. The
prevalence of drought throughout Zimbabwe has created food shortages. The
prices of most products that are in short supply have therefore, gone up
The continued weakening of the local currency have also put
pressure on inflation. Of the 502 percent inflation rate for November,
increases in food prices accounted for 140.1 percentage points. Food
inflation prone to transitory shocks stood at 125.5 percent gaining 18.6
percentage points on the November rate. Non-food inflation gained 8.1
percentage points to 14 percent on the November rate.
The year on year inflation rate is given by the percentage
change in the index of the relevant month of the current year compared with
the index of the same month in the previous year. On a monthly basis, the
consumer price index jumped 27 percent from 22.4 percent in October, the
Central Statistical Office said. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, whose
presidency was endorsed by the High Court yesterday, lamented the
deteriorating crisis in Zimbabwe.
"The humanitarian emergencies that confront this nation as a
result of dictatorial policies are immense," Tsvangirai said at a press
conference at Harvest House. "The scale of human suffering has reached
unacceptable levels... The challenge before us is to rally the nation, rally
the people and rally the international community to help end the current
crisis." Prominent Harare economist James Johwa also concurred saying there
was no respite to the crisis confronting the country.
"There are a lot of price pressures that will see inflation go
up...as long as we do not address the supply side, which is weak due to a
collapse in agriculture, inflation will not subside," Jowa said. The MDC
leader said it was high time the people of Zimbabwe confront the Mugabe
dictatorship head on. "The tyrant is insincere and does not care about the
plight of the people," Tsvangirai said. "We have decided to pursue the route
of democratic resistance with Mugabe and his regime. May I call on the
leadership of civil society to join hands with the MDC and assume positions
at the forefront of this struggle."
Zimbabwe has in recent years been in the throes of political,
economic and social instability. Average annual inflation has been on a
upward trend since 2000 when it stood at 55.9 percent, rising to 71 percent
a year later. Two years later it had surpassed 600 percent. The country has
also been plagued by severe food shortages, caused partly by drought as well
as the controversial land redistribution programme dispossessing white
farmers. Government earlier this year said it has enough food to feed its
people, but the state-owned grain marketer was secretly importing food.