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

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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 23:59 GMT
Mugabe defiant on land seizures
President Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe faces a gruelling three-month campaign
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has kicked off his re-election campaign, saying he will stick to his controversial land redistribution programme.

They (whites) stole our land and now turn around, when we reclaim our land, that we are breaking the rule of law. What cheek is that?

President Mugabe
Mr Mugabe's government has listed some 4,500 properties - about 95% of farmland owned by whites - for nationalisation without compensation.

Political violence triggered by the illegal occupation of some 1,700 farms by ruling party militants since March last year has already left at least 77 people dead and tens of thousands homeless.

But Mr Mugabe, 77, told members of his ruling Zanu-PF party: "We will win. We cannot lose the fight for our land.

Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai: Harassment claim
"I will not have succeeded in liberating the people of Zimbabwe from oppression as long as economic oppression continues."

Mr Mugabe's chief opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has complained of harassment after he was briefly detained by police.

Police said they detained Mr Tsvangirai after they found a two-way radio during a search of his home.

He was released about 35 minutes later, police said.

'Hitler' claim

"He was not arrested. He was merely called in connection with the security radio which requires a licence," police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told Reuters.

Tens of thousands have been left homeless by the occupations
Mr Mugabe said Britain - the former colonial power - was using "every trick in the book" to sabotage his land redistribution programme.

He said that in Britain he was now characterised as a Hitler or a Napoleon.

And he said the MDC was a puppet of white interests.

But a BBC correspondent in the region says this was a relatively restrained performance by Mr Mugabe, who now faces a gruelling three-month election campaign.

The opposition says Mr Mugabe has become desperate after leading Zimbabwe to economic crisis.

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Independent Reporters Barred From Zimbabwean Ruling Party Congress

Xinhuanet 2001-12-15 05:14:43

   HARARE, December 14 (Xinhuanet) -- At least two reporters of the
independent media have been barred from covering the ongoing
congress of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic
Front (ZANU-PF), the Independent newspaper reported on Friday.
   Government officials refused to accredit Busani Bafana and
Njabulo Ncube, who are from the Zimbabwe Independent and the
Financial Gazette newspapers respectively, according to the report.
   The two intended to cover the 5th congress of ZANU-PF held in
the northwestern resort town of Victoria Falls, the last meeting
before the presidential elections in March next year, the report
   "You guys are negative so we can not accredit you," an official
at the accreditation desk was quoted as saying. The two
journalists immediately left the venue of the conference, where 7,
000 delegates from all over the country have converged to attend
the national meeting.
   Officials from the department of information and publicity
declined to comment on the rejection of the independent media.
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14/12/2001 12:07  - (SA)

Rand hits 12/$

Johannesburg - The rand fell to a record low of 12.02 to the dollar on
Friday in an illiquid market weighed down by concerns over Zimbabwe where
the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was briefly detained by police.

The embattled unit also set new lows against the pound at 17.51 and the euro
at 10.90.

The latest slide brings its depreciation against the dollar so far this year
to about 35%.

"(Tsvangirai's arrest this morning has had an impact), but this must be
understood in conjuction with market conditions. This is a thin market,
there is lack of supply," said Chris Hart, treasury economist at Absa bank.

Zimbabwean police arrested Tsvangirai early on Friday after they found a
two-way radio during a search of his home in Harare.

Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, will run against
President Robert Mugabe in presidential elections in March.

The deepening political crisis in Zimbabwe has been blamed for the rand's
steep depreciation this year.

The rand has also been hit by reports that Southern African Development
Community ministers, supported by South Africa, are opposed to US and
European Union plans to slap sanctions on Mugabe to force him to return to
the rule of law.

Traders said other factors behind the current's rapid deterioration included
the fact that it had broken through technical levels, triggering stop-losses
in an illiquid market.

The currency market has been grappling with a lack of liquidity since late
October after the Reserve Bank tightened enforcement of existing exchange
regulations to curb speculative attacks against the rand.

Rand's plunge heightens fears

"There is a huge amount of uncertainty and a large amount of disbelief. The
question is where is the top before it settles down?" said Hart, adding that
the unit could test 12 to the dollar during the day.

The rand's sustained plunge has heightened fears that interest rates will
rise in the first quarter of 2002 to quell inflationary pressures.

Bond yields soared in sympathy with the rand, extending Thursday's sharp

The yield on the key R150 government bond, due 2005, rose 21 basis points to
11.23%. The yield on the R153 was bid at 11.67%.


12/14 04:42
S. Africa's Rand, Bonds Fall on Arrest of Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai
By Robert Brand and Dylan Griffiths

Johannesburg, Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa's rand fell to a record
and bonds plunged to seven-month lows after police in neighboring Zimbabwe
detained opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

The rand slid as much as 53.50 cents, or 4.6 percent, to 12.105 rand per
dollar. It recently traded at 12.079. The rand has declined 37 percent this
year, making it the second worst performing major currency against the
dollar after the Turkish lira.

``The market is concentrating on Zimbabwe today,'' said John Beynon, head of
foreign exchange sales at Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank. ``The market
is so thin, it is in complete free fall.''

Police arrested Tsvangirai for using radio equipment without a license after
raiding his house around midnight and confiscating walkie-talkies used by
his security guards, said a spokesman for his Movement for Democratic
Change. He was released after four hours, though it isn't known whether he
had been charged, the spokesman said. Tsvangirai is Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe's main rival in presidential elections scheduled for March.

Mugabe, who has ruled for 21 years, told his supporters yesterday to prepare
for a ``physical fight'' with the opposition in the election. Investors are
selling rand-based assets on concern Zimbabwe's crisis will affect its
neighbors, raising the risks of investing in the region.

``Zimbabwe is a serious problem,'' Beynon said. Investors are also concerned
about South Africa's failure to ``take any action against a country where
they're making a mockery of democracy.''

Bonds fell on concern the currency's decline will fuel inflation and prompt
the central bank to raise interest rates, analysts said. Higher inflation
and interest rates reduce the real returns of fixed- income securities such
as bonds.

The R150, due 2005, fell as much as 3/4 to 101 7/8, driving the yield up as
many as 26 basis points to 11.28 percent, its highest since May 16. It
recently yielded 11.22 percent. The R153, due 2010, fell as much as 1 3/8 to
106 1/2, driving the yield up as many as 26 basis points to 11.79 percent.
It recently yielded 11.73 percent.

``The market just bombed when the currency went,'' said Nico Els, director
of bonds at BOE Securities in Johannesburg. ``There is a lot of nervousness,
and it is a very thin market, so there isn't a lot of two-way trade.''

The money markets are pricing in an interest rate rise in the second quarter
next year, Els said.

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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 12:27 GMT
Mugabe's descent into dictatorship
Robert Mugabe
Mugabe learnt his skills as an independence fighter
Joseph Winter

Robert Mugabe will be 78 by the time he is expected to face Morgan Tsvangirai in presidential elections in March 2002.

If he wins, and stays healthy he would rule Zimbabwe until the age of 84.

The last thing most octogenarians would want is the onerous task of running a country in economic free-fall and facing international isolation.

Mugabe is our king

Zanu-PF's Didymus Mutasa
Many Zimbabweans, and others, are asking why he does not just put his feet up and enjoy his remaining years with his young family.

But if nothing else, Mr Mugabe is an extremely proud man.

He will only step down when his "revolution" is complete. He says this means the redistribution of white-owned land but he also wants to hand-pick his successor, who must of course come from within the ranks of his Zanu-PF party.

This would also ensure a peaceful old age, with no investigation into his time in office.

Freedom fighter

One senior party official told me that the defeat of the government's proposed constitution in February 2000 - which showed the strength of the opposition - had set back Mr Mugabe's retirement by several years.

That defeat stirred him into action, transforming him from a relatively relaxed man contemplating his twilight years, into someone desperate to remain at any cost, even willing to destroy the country he had fought to liberate.

Mugabe with Castro
Mugabe still asserts his socialist credentials

The key to understanding Mr Mugabe is the 1970s guerrilla war where he made his name. World opinion saw him as a revolutionary hero, fighting racist white minority rule for the freedom of his people.

Since Zimbabwe's independence in 1980 the world has moved on, but his outlook remains the same. The heroic socialist forces of Zanu-PF, are still fighting the twin evils of capitalism and colonialism.

His opponents, in particular the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), are labelled "sell-outs" to white and foreign interests and, as during the war, this tag has been a death warrant for many MDC supporters.


But Mr Mugabe's critics - and these days they are many in a country where he was once an untouchable figure - say that despite his socialist rhetoric, his rule has been one of state capitalism which has not materially benefited ordinary Zimbabweans.

The president's political cronies have meanwhile been given lucrative state contracts irrespective of how they perform, and the economy as a whole has suffered.

Whenever economics gets in the way of politics, politics wins every time

Professor Tony Hawkins

Harare, a hotbed of political opposition, frequently buzzes with rumours of Mr Mugabe's impending death.

While the predictions have always proved premature, the increasing strain of recent years has obviously taken its toll and his once-impeccable presentation now looks a little worn.

But at 77, he still has remarkable stamina. His second wife, Grace, 35, says that he wakes up at 0400 for his daily exercises. In 1997, she gave birth to their third child, Chatunga.


He professes to be a staunch Catholic, and worshippers at Harare's Catholic Cathedral are occasionally swamped by security guards as he turns up for Sunday Mass.

However, Mr Mugabe's beliefs did not prevent him from having two children by his young secretary, Grace, while his popular Ghanaian first wife, Sally, was dying from cancer.

MDC rally
The young and unemployed want change

One of the undoubted achievements of the former teacher's 21 years in power is the expansion of education. Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa at 85% of the population.

Political scientist Masipula Sithole says that, ironically, by expanding education, the president is "digging his own grave".

The young beneficiaries are now able to analyse Zimbabwe's problems for themselves and most blame government corruption and mismanagement for the lack of jobs and rising prices.


Having realised his political mistake, Mr Mugabe is now trying to disenfranchise the young, who generally want political change - and jobs.

As many others have found, it is far easier to find ways of sharing the national cake than to make it grow bigger. Professor Tony Hawkins of the University of Zimbabwe sums it up by saying that "whenever economics gets in the way of politics, politics wins every time".

Robert and Grace Mugabe
Grace says he wakes at 4am for his exercises

But, in his own way, Mr Mugabe is indeed a clever politician. As his fortunes have declined, he has resurrected the nationalist agenda of the 1970s - land redistribution and anti-colonialism.

He unleashed his personal militia - the self-styled war veterans - who are using violence and murder as an electoral strategy.

It may not be playing by the rules but it is widely believed to have ensured the Zanu-PF victory in the June 2000 parliamentary elections and may work again in 2002.

The man who fought for one-man, one-vote now wants potential voters to prove their residence with utility bills, which the young, unemployed opposition core is unlikely to have.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said that Mr Mugabe is becoming a cartoon figure of the archetypal Africa dictator.

One of Mr Mugabe's closest associates, Didymus Mutasa, told me that in Zimbabwean culture, kings are only replaced when they die "and Mugabe is our king".

But if Zimbabweans feel they have been cheated at the polls, they may look for an alternative way to remove him.

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The Age
Zimbabwe's ruling party prepares bid to keep Mugabe in power
VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe, Dec 14 AFP|Published: Friday December 14, 10:47 PM

Zimbabwe's ruling party opened its congress today, preparing to launch its
effort to extend President Robert Mugabe's 21-year grip on power.

John Nkomo, chairman of the ruling ZANU-PF, opened the congress with a call
for unity among Zimbabweans and dismissed opponents to Mugabe as terrorists
sowing fear in the population.

"We are all Zimbabweans, and Zimbabwe must remain a unitary state. One
people, one Zimbabwe," Nkomo told the cheering crowd of stalwarts in the
Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

"We call them terrorists, because they are terrorising people," Nkomo said
of Mugabe's opponents.

Mugabe will face a tough challenge for the presidency from Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the two-year-old Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

The run-up to the election has already been marred by violence and
intimidation of MDC supporters. Tsvangirai himself was detained by police
for four hours early today, after police raided his home two nights in a

The government has tried to convict Tsvangirai on terrorism charges, which
the Supreme Court threw out last month.

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Mugabe calls for unity in face of strong opposition

VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe, Dec. 14 — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
called for unity in his ruling party's ranks on Friday to defeat a surging
opposition party he said was sponsored by Zimbabwe's former white minority

       Looking tired during most of an hour-long speech kicking off his
campaign for re-election in March, Mugabe, 77, vowed to stick to his
controversial land reform programme and champion the interests of Zimbabwe's
black majority.
       ''Sanctions or no sanctions we will not desist from the process of
acquiring our land. We will survive on the fruits of our labour, in the land
of our ancestors,'' he said in his native Shona language.
       Mugabe also said his government had tried to stabilise the economy,
which he said had been sabotaged by his opponents.
       ''In my heart, I will not have succeeded in liberating the people of
Zimbabwe from oppression as long as economic oppression continues.''
       Mugabe charged that there was an international attempt to demonise
him. ''There's an outcry in Britain that Mugabe is a dictator, is a Hitler,
is a Napoleon, is a devil. I don't know what I'm not,'' he.

       ZANU-PF national chairman and Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo had
urged party faithful to rally behind Mugabe's re-election hopes, likening
his land and campaign programme to an unstoppable supersonic aircraft.
       ''The Concorde has taken off and it has attained its altitude. The
captain is in control, it has no reverse gear, no emergency breaks. Captain
Mugabe is in command,'' Nkomo told the 7,000 delegates.
       Mugabe repeated charges that Morgan Tsvangirai's opposition Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) was a tool of the former Rhodesia's white
minority rulers seeking to topple Mugabe over redistributing land to blacks.
       ''The Rhodesians have been organising themselves clandestinely for
all this time from 1980, they have never rested. They have grouped in South
Africa, in Australia, in Canada and knit strategies like a spiderto upset
our victory in 1980 and gain control.''
       Mugabe faces his strongest political challenge in 21 years of power.
Next year's election will pit him against Tsvangirai, who was briefly
detained by police on Friday after they found a two-way radio during a
search of his home.
       ''What is beginning to emerge from the ZANU-PF conference is what we
have always known -- ZANU-PF is confused. Their party is moving around like
a headless chicken,'' the MDC said in a statement.
       The MDC said almost 100 of its supporters had been killed in violence
since the run-up to last year's parliamentary voting.
       U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Walter
Kansteiner warned Mugabe on Wednesday to ensure conditions were in place for
fair elections or risk U.S. sanctions.
       Critics say Mugabe has chosen a biased state election body, barred
millions abroad from voting, and allowed militant supporters to run a
violent campaign against the opposition.
       The MDC nearly defeated ZANU-PF in parliamentary elections last year
despite the violence.
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Former trade unionist challenges Mugabe

HARARE, Dec. 14 — Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was
detained by police on Friday, is a skilled orator who poses the first
serious challenge to President Robert Mugabe's 21 years in power.

       The fiery trade unionist and leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) says Mugabe's government is mounting a campaign to crack down
on the opposition ahead of presidential elections in March next year.
       ''There are serious obstacles to a free and fair election in Zimbabwe
at the moment,'' Tsvangirai told a South African newspaper in November.
       ''We expect that the MDC will experience a lot of destabilisation. A
lot of harassment, intimidation, even murder,'' he said.
       Tsvangirai, 49, was detained by police on Friday after they found an
unlicensed two-way radio during a search of his Harare home. Mugabe had
labelled the MDC a ''terrorist'' organisation with no viable political
programme on Thursday.
       Opinion polls show Mugabe trailing Tsvangirai.
       The MDC won 57 of 120 contested seats in parliamentary elections last
year marred by violence in which 31 people were killed. Most of those killed
were opposition supporters.
       Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe, Zimbabwe's sole ruler since the former
Rhodesia gained independence from Britain in 1980, of leading the country
into an economic and political crisis.
       Tsvangirai and his party expect to tap voter anger over a jobless
rate of more than 60 percent, and record high inflation.
       Severe fuel and foreign currency shortages and a costly war in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo have also worn down one of Africa's most
promising economies.

       Tsvangirai, who helped found the MDC and was elected its chief at the
party's inaugural congress in 1999, has emerged as one of Zimbabwe's leading
       Those who love or hate him do so passionately.
       To his admirers, Tsvangirai is a fearless nationalist putting his
life on the line by challenging Mugabe.
       To ZANU-PF and its supporters, including mobs led by war veterans who
have invaded hundreds of white-owned farms since February 2000, Tsvangirai
is being sponsored by Zimbabwe's former white rulers to undermine a black
majority government.
       Tsvangirai's lieutenants say he is an accomplished backroom organiser
and consensus builder who united the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
(ZCTU) against government efforts to split the labour movement.
       But political observers say policy and detail is where the man who
captivates the public with powerful speeches is weakest.
       Tsvangirai was elected ZCTU secretary-general 11 years ago, and is
credited with charting an independent path for a movement Mugabe's
government saw as an extension of the ruling party.
       In 1998, Tsvangirai led national protests against tax and price
increases. Mugabe sent in riot police and the army to crush what he saw as
an attempted revolt.
       Tsvangirai was also instrumental in setting up the National
Constitutional Assembly, a coalition that this year defeated Mugabe in a
referendum on extending his powers.
       Born in Zimbabwe's southern Buhera district, Tsvangirai worked in a
textile factory and later a nickel mine before becoming a union organiser.
He is married with six children.

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ABC News

Zimbabwean police briefly detained opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
December 14, 2001, a day after President Robert Mugabe accused the
opposition of terrorizing his supporters ahead of presidential elections.
Police said they detained Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), at around 4:30 a.m. after finding a two-way radio during a
search of his home. He was released about 35 minutes later, police said.
Tsvangirai is seen during a press conference at his home in this November 14
file photo. Photo by Howard Burditt
 WIRE: 12/14/2001 11:27 am ET

Mugabe Urges Unity, Police Hold Opposition Leader

By Cris Chinaka and Stella Mapenzauswa
VICTORIA FALLS/HARARE (Reuters) - President Robert Mugabe kicked off his
re-election campaign on Friday saying Zimbabwe's former white rulers backed
his main opposition party rival, who was briefly detained by police. Police
said they detained Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), at around 4:30 a.m. (9:30 p.m. Thursday EST) and held him at
Harare central police station after finding a two-way radio during a search
of his home.

He was released about 35 minutes later, police said.

"He was not arrested. He was merely called in connection with the security
radio which requires a license," police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena told

"We had him for about 35 minutes and then released him after advising him
that he remains obliged to produce the license."

The MDC said in a statement the incident was part of an intimidation
campaign against their leader, who poses the strongest electoral challenge
to Mugabe after 21 years in power.

"All these incidents are part of ZANU-PF's campaign strategy...They are
carefully designed to...throw his program off course and get him to think
about his plight and not that of the people," the MDC said.

Mugabe, launching his campaign for a March vote, urged his ZANU-PF party to
unite and defeat a surging MDC, which nearly defeated the ruling party in
parliamentary elections last year.

Those elections were marred by political violence which left 31 people dead,
most of them opposition supporters.


Looking tired during most of his hour-long speech to party supporters at a
congress in the resort city of Victoria Falls, Mugabe, 77, vowed to stick to
his controversial land drive and to champion the interests of Zimbabwe's
black majority.

"We will win. We cannot lose the fight for our land. Never, never, never. In
my heart, I will not have succeeded in liberating the people of Zimbabwe
from oppression as long as economic oppression continues," he told 7,000

"They (whites) stole our land and now turn around, when we reclaim our land,
that we are breaking the rule of law. What cheek is that?" Mugabe said,
charging that there were foreign moves to demonize him and the government
over the land issue.

"There's an outcry in Britain that Mugabe is a dictator, is a Hitler, is a
Napoleon, is a devil. I don't know what I'm not."

Mugabe dismissed the threat of sanctions against his ruling elite, saying
delivering land to blacks was more important.

ZANU-PF national chairman and Home Affairs Minister John Nkomo urged the
party faithful to rally behind Mugabe in next year's presidential election,
likening his land and campaign program to an unstoppable supersonic jet.

"The Concorde has taken off and it has attained its altitude. The captain is
in control, it has no reverse gear, no emergency breaks. Captain Mugabe is
in command," Nkomo said.


Mugabe repeated charges that Tsvangirai's party was a puppet of his white
opponents out to topple him over the land program. On Thursday Mugabe called
the MDC a "terrorist" group with no viable political platform.

"The Rhodesians have been organizing themselves clandestinely from 1980.
They have never rested. They have grouped in South Africa, in Australia, in
Canada and knit strategies like a spider to upset our victory in 1980 and
gain control," he said.

The MDC says Mugabe is desperate as he faces an electorate struggling
through a severe economic crisis, which Mugabe blames on sabotage by Western
governments opposed to his land plan.

The MDC says the downturn is due to mismanagement and Mugabe's controversial
plan to seize white-owned farms for black resettlement.

The land program has dramatically cut agricultural production in a country
once ranked as the bread basket of the region.

The U.N. World Food Program launched an urgent appeal on Thursday for $54
million to buy food for more than half a million people in Zimbabwe, where
supplies of the staple grain maize could run out before the end of this

Zimbabwe's woes have spilled over to regional neighbors like South Africa,
where the local rand fell to a historic low of 12.48 against the U.S. dollar
on news of Tsvangirai's arrest.

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Hi there
I know so many people want to know how Alan's recovery is going ... well,
he's getting better with each day.  He is still in agony but it's only been
2 weeks and today he got a prescription for something to make him sleep, so
should at least get a good night tonight.  His 2 doctors were pleased with
his progress when he visited them today.  He will go for another xray on
Tuesday and in the meantime will continue with physio.
I'm getting into the swing of life in town - yeagh! - so are the kids, I am
now taking Luke to swimming coaching for half an hour in the afternoons.  He
really enjoyed it and it makes him feel very important.  I had a dilemma
yesterday as Mitchell's bike had a puncture - where in Harare would I take
it to be fixed?  I can't just send it out the back gate for the mechanic!!
Talk about a whole new ball game!
Once again we want to thank you all for your good wishes. Over the passed 2
weeks, we have come across such kindness and compassion from people all over
Zim (and all over the world!) and from all walks of life.  We cannot explain
what it is that Alan and I have learnt from this experience - we need to
find the right words and will let you know when we do.
Keep in touch and God Bless.
The Bradleys

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From ZWNEWS, 14 December

Tsvangirai arrested

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai was this morning arrested by police. Fifteen armed policemen led by Superintendent Matema of the Law and Order Section raided Tsvangirai's home at 5:30 am this morning and took him to Harare Central police station where he is still being held. He is accused of "being in possession of walkie-talkie radios without a licence". The radios in question have a range of about 50 metres, can be bought in supermarkets, and do not require a licence. Tsvangirai's arrest follows a raid on his home yesterday. The charges against Tsvangirai are similar to those brought against MDC members in Bulawayo prior to the mayoral election in early September. The Law and Order Section of the police is a unit which seems to have been set up solely for the purposes of harassing the political opposition in Zimbabwe.

From The Star (SA), 13 December

Zim police search opposition leader's home

Harare - Armed police made an overnight search of the home of Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and arrested three of his security guards, a party spokesman said Thursday. Three truckloads of armed police, led by five investigative officers, arrived at Tsvangirai's home around midnight and searched it for about 90 minutes, said Learnmore Jongwe, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). "The search lasted for at least one and half hours as the police details went through every detail in each room. They left around 1.30am after they had failed to find anything," Jongwe said.

Police arrested three of Tsvangirai's guards, and questioned them about MDC's security arrangements, Jongwe added. The search warrant said the police were looking for Zwelithini Msimanga in connection with an unspecified kidnapping and murder case, Jongwe said. Msimanga is an employee at MDC's office in Bulawayo, the country's second largest city. Cain Nkala, a militant war veteran and government supporter was abducted and killed outside Bulawayo last month. The government has linked Nkala's death to the MDC, which has categorically denied any involvement. Tsavngirai said the search of his home was another instance of harassment and intimidation of the opposition in Zimbabwe.

More than 50 pro-government militants forced a mayor-elect from the MDC, who won election last weekend in the town of Chegutu, from his new offices Wednesday, hours before he was due to be sworn in. On Monday, the body of an MDC activist was found floating at a dam in central Zimbabwe, two days after he was kidnapped from his home. Rights groups estimate that at least 66 people have died since Zimbabwe's crisis began almost two years ago, while more than 42 000 have been forced from their homes and thousands more have been tortured.

From BBC News, 14 December

UN appeals for Zimbabwe food aid

The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) has issued an urgent appeal to international donors for $54m to buy emergency food aid for more than half a million people in Zimbabwe. The WFP said President Robert Mugabe's government had agreed to emergency moves to provide food to people in the south, west and north of the country. "We need to start delivering food to thousands of hungry people as fast as possible," said the WFP's regional director for eastern and southern Africa, Judith Lewis. The WFP announced in November it was planning the food aid, which it said was needed because of drought and the violent occupations of white-owned farms, a development encouraged by President Robert Mugabe's government.

Ms Lewis called for contributions to come in the form of cash where possible, since this would allow food to be transported in quickly from neighbouring countries like South Africa. The WFP said food aid would initially be given to 558,000 rural people in the worst affected areas. Before the next harvest began in April, food availability was likely to become "extremely tight", Ms Lewis said. Officials estimate that Zimbabwe needs to import at least 600,000 tonnes of maize to meet domestic demand. The government has acknowledged a need to import 100,000 tonnes. But aid agencies say Zimbabwe's economic crisis has left it short of foreign currency to pay for food imports. The WFP's call came as the European Parliament demanded that financial sanctions be imposed on Zimbabwe because of what it called the deterioration of the rule of law and increasing human rights abuses. In a strongly-worded resolution, the parliament called for any assets held in Europe by President Mugabe and his family to be frozen. The recommendations will now go to the Council of Europe.

From The Financial Gazette, 13 December

Mudenge off to Belgium to avert EU sanctions

Zimbabwe has partially succumbed to international pressure and will next week meet the European Union (EU) in Belgium for talks meant to give President Robert Mugabe another chance to address concerns about the political and economic crisis in the southern African country and avert imminent sanctions. Francesca Mosca, head of the EU delegation in Harare, yesterday confirmed that the crucial meeting would take place on December 19 in Brussels. The Brussels meeting is to be held under Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement of European countries and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations that allows the EU to demand talks with any signatory deemed to have failed to respect democratic principles and the rule of law.

Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel will lead the EU team while Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge is expected to be in charge of the Zimbabwean delegation. "A ministerial meeting on Zimbabwe will be held on 19 December in Brussels at which issues relating to Zimbabwe will be discussed," Mosca told the Financial Gazette yesterday. No comment was available from Mudenge or the government. The EU invoked Article 96 last month after failing to secure Mugabe’s cooperation over promises he made at the Abuja land conference in September to restore law and order and arrest Zimbabwe’s continued slide into anarchy. The EU, the world’s largest trading bloc, also wanted Mugabe to assent to international demands for foreign monitors to the crucial presidential election to be held in March but whose dates have not yet been announced.

Mugabe this week however maintained that he would invite only African and Asian observers to next year’s poll and not monitors. He told visiting Nigerian academics that he was even reluctant to invite "some white men" to observe the election, perhaps except those from individual friendly EU countries. Last month he snubbed a team of senior EU officials, led by Michel, that visited Harare to discuss Zimbabwe’s involvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo war and issues of good governance, by storming out of a meeting. Experts said next week’s talks were a last ditch attempt by the EU to give Mugabe another chance to address issues concerning democratic principles, the rule of law and the need for a free and fair presidential election next year, before sanctions can be considered. The United States is already preparing targeted sanctions at Mugabe and his close allies after its Congress passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill early this month.

From BBC News, 13 December

Mugabe warns of battle ahead

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has urged his supporters to prepare for a physical fight with the main opposition party, which he has again accused of terrorism. Speaking at the start of a three-day conference of his ruling Zanu PF party, Mr Mugabe said the opposition Movement for Democratic Change had chosen to use violence and terror, because it had no viable political programme on which to contest presidential elections, now set for March. "Violence is not just happening, it in fact has been deliberately hatched at the center of the MDC and by its patrons and principals overseas... This is a real physical fight and we have to prepare for it," he said in a nationally televised speech.

However, an independent human rights group in Zimbabwe has said that most of the people known to have been killed in political violence in the past year were opposition supporters. And they say the widespread intimidation of farm workers and opposition supporters is continuing, with police failing to intervene satisfactorily. President Mugabe is launching his presidential election campaign in front of the thousands of delegates who have gathered in the resort town of Victoria Falls. It is expected that Mr Mugabe will face the oppositon leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, in the poll. President Mugabe also accused Britain, the former colonial power, of being behind an international campaign to discredit his party over its policy of land seizures.

The conference comes amid mounting political tension, with Zimbabwe's neighbours concerned that the situation there should not slip out of control. Our Southern Africa correspondent says that Zimbabwe's big neighbour, South Africa, has most to lose should the crisis deepen in the coming weeks. Already hundreds of jobless Zimbabweans are trying to cross into South Africa every day, and the dramatic fall in South Africa's currency is partially due to a loss of confidence because of the Zimbabwean upheavals. Other, smaller neighbours, have similar concerns. Both Malawi and Mozambique fear that thousands of migrant workers could return home from Zimbabwe if they lose their jobs. But in public, African leaders are reluctant to criticise too much. And Southern African leaders have spoken out against the sanctions threatened by leaders in the United States and Europe.

From The Cape Times (SA), 13 December

Rand slides as SADC supports Mugabe

The rand was savaged by international markets on Thursday after support given to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe by Southern African Development Community (SADC) foreign ministers. It slid to record lows against the dollar, sterling and euro. Currency traders saw no respite, with one predicting the rand could soon fall below R12 to the dollar. Traders said the rand's plight was worsened by indications that SADC ministers opposed US and European Union plans to slap sanctions on Mugabe's government to force it to restore the rule of law ahead of presidential elections. The rand was beaten down to R11.63 in New York after closing at R11.555 against the dollar in Johannesburg. It kicked off just above R11, but rapidly declined as SADC ministers supported Mugabe. The rand had a horrid day against the euro, falling to R10.4262. But it regained some ground to close at R10.348.

From The Star (SA), 12 December

Mugabe will be test of Mbeki's plan, says US

The ability of African leaders to deal with Zimbabwe was a "test case" for the African renewal programme's goals of ensuring good governance and rule of law through peer pressure, a senior United States official has said. In an exclusive interview with Independent Newspapers, Walter Kansteiner, US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, said on Wednesday that the way the Zimbabwean situation was handled would be closely watched by all G8 countries as a test for the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad) plan. "Nepad is focused on the notion of good governance, rule of law and peer responsibility - obviously the test case is Zimbabwe," he said. Kansteiner said he believed South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was "going in the right direction" concerning Zimbabwe. "This really is the big test. Zimbabwe is probably at a more critical juncture today than it has been since independence in 1980. I think we all are exploring ways to send that message and to encourage Zimbabweans to enact good electoral codes and make the (election) process free and fair," he said.

Kansteiner defended the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill recently passed by the US Congress, which threatens travel restrictions and the attachment of foreign assets of Zimbabwe's rulers, saying it would only target Zimbabwe's elite. "What the bill does is provide all sorts of incentives for Zimbabwe to return to the rule of law and enact a free and fair electoral process. "The bill lays out an assortment of actions that will take place if in fact that happens, including serious consideration of Zimbabwe's debt forgiveness, looking at ways we can support Zimbabwe agricultural extension and land reform," Kansteiner said. "(But), if those electoral processes are deemed unfree and unfair, there are restrictions that could be imposed on the Zimbabwean government elite. It is not a sanctions bill. In fact, I would suggest there are no sanctions at all."

Reacting to the SADC's rejection this week of sanctions as a tool for change in Zimbabwe, Kansteiner said the US wanted to discuss its "restrictive actions" with the SADC. "The restrictive actions are simply restrictive actions for the elite, so I'm hard-pressed to see how it affects others, be it Zimbabweans or their neighbours," he said. "The bill hasn't even been passed. We are just starting to talk to our various allies (SADC, the European Union and the Commonwealth) about how and when it might be implemented." But Kansteiner warned that ultimately it was up to the Zimbabwean government to determine whether the bill's punitive measures were enacted. "My point to the Zimbabwe government officials that I met over the past few days is that they are the ones that have their finger on the trigger; they are the ones who are going to decide if the electoral process is free and fair," Kansteiner said. "They are the ones who are ultimately going to decide if there are in fact travel restrictions and asset freezes. It's really up to them," he said. Asked whether he had observed any inclination of Zimbabwean officials to adhere to the rule of law, he said that some government members seem keen to "get this thing right". But others, he intimated, seem more bent on re-election.

From The Cape Times (SA), 13 December

SADC in pact with Mugabe to avert sanctions

Harare - A team of Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers and President Robert Mugabe have entered into a pact to avert sanctions by the United States and Europe in exchange for a pledge from Zimbabwe to ensure free and fair presidential elections next year. The six-member SADC team, visiting Zimbabwe to audit the country's land reform programme, told a media briefing on Wednesday that it opposed sanctions against Zimbabwe. It also said it supported Mugabe's land acquisition programme. Sanctions would "not just hurt Zimbabweans but the whole region", said Malawi's Foreign Minister, Lilian Patel, who chaired the meeting. An official of Zimbabwe's department of foreign affairs said that the SADC team, during its closed-door talks with Mugabe, had "seriously expressed its concern" about the decay of law and order in Zimbabwe. It said there was a need to resolve the crisis because it was affecting the entire region. Mugabe responded by asking them to join him in opposing sanctions. Patel had assured him the ministers were opposed to sanctions, said a source close to the meeting. But the ministers emphasised they would be able to help Zimbabwe better if the government took adequate steps to contain violence and ensure that the presidential polls next year were free and fair.

But critics said Mugabe had outwitted the team and succeeded in bringing the ministers around to his view. The critics said the sanctions envisaged by the American Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Bill targeted only those individuals deemed to be responsible for violent actions, but the SADC leaders had been duped into believing they would affect the region as a whole. Independent political analyst Elfas Mukonoweshuro noted that the bill did not say "sanctions are intended for Zimbabweans". It targeted only Zimbabwe's leadership. "It will affect their assets outside the country and their families and they will have travel restrictions against them." The Movement for Democratic Change, whose representative met the ministers for five hours, expressed disappointment at the SADC team's "failure to understand the gravity of the situation in Zimbabwe". It had hoped for "a more balanced and constructive assessment". "It would not have been difficult to insist on the rule of law and that (the SADC's) own rules on elections be applied," said Welshman Ncube, who presented the MDC's position to the team. The team was also criticised for apparently following the Zimbabwe government line that the press was to blame for its bad image.

From The Financial Gazette, 13 December

Mugabe tries to block Harare municipal poll

President Robert Mugabe might invoke his presidential powers to postpone the Harare mayoral and council elections whose date has been set for February 11 by the Supreme Court to well after the crucial March presidential poll, official sources said this week. The sources said Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa was crafting statutory instruments under the Presidential Powers Act that would be used to amend the Urban Councils Act and postpone the eagerly awaited mayoral and council elections in the capital. Harare has been run by a government-appointed commission since 1999 after the state fired the Zanu PF executive led by businessman Solomon Tawengwa for mismanagement. Retired diplomat and former senior civil servant Elijah Chanakira, whose term is expected to end on December 31 this year, heads the commission that has since governed the affairs of the city, Zimbabwe’s largest.

The Supreme Court last week ordered the Registrar-General’s Office to hold mayoral and council elections for Harare on or before February 11 next year. The ruling was made after an urgent application by the Combined Harare Residents Association compelling the government to hold the thrice-postponed elections. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo warned when the Supreme Court ruling was made that the government would explore other legal options "to ensure that the right thing is done". Official sources told the Financial Gazette this week that government legal experts were already working on a statutory instrument that could be used to postpone the mayoral and municipal elections until well after the landmark presidential election in March.

Mugabe faces the stiffest challenge to his iron-fisted 21-year rule from Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who also enjoys massive support in almost all of Zimbabwe’s urban centres including Harare. Analysts say Mugabe is reluctant to have the Harare mayoral and municipal elections held before the presidential poll because the MDC would trounce Zanu PF and the result would adversely affect the morale of his supporters. Senior governing party officials have also raised concerns about the impact of the results of the municipal elections, which Zanu PF is likely to lose heavily, on Mugabe’s presidential campaign that is supposed to gather momentum at the same time. ZANU PF has already lost three mayoral elections to the MDC this year in Masvingo, Bulawayo and recently in Chegutu.

The statutory instrument to be used to postpone the Harare mayoral and municipal elections is likely to be issued when Parliament resumes on Tuesday and the amendments would be passed before the House breaks for its Christmas recess. "We will be seeing a statutory instrument shortly under the Presidential Powers Act that will seek the postponement of the Harare mayoral elections until after the presidential election," an official in the Ministry of Justice told the Financial Gazette this week. Chitungwiza municipal elections that are scheduled for next month are also likely to be postponed under the proposed amendments to the Urban Council Act. The sources said the government would claim that the postponements were necessary for the Registrar General’s Office to thoroughly prepare for the presidential poll. Chinamasa could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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ZIMBABWE: Opposition leader freed after short detention

JOHANNESBURG, 14 December (IRIN) - Opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai was detained in a dawn raid and released without charge on Friday as the ruling ZANU-PF opened its annual conference, to prepare for presidential elections in March.

Tsvangirai's arrest came a day after President Robert Mugabe, speaking ahead of the conference in Victoria Falls, said that the MDC was a "real terrorist threat" to the country.

Basking in the support of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) task team, which this week endorsed Harare's land reforms and rejected calls for sanctions against senior ruling party officials, Mugabe said those in favour of sanctions were "bound to fail because there is solid support for our land programme in the region". He urged preparation for a "physical fight" and called on youth to defend Zimbabwe's independence.

According to political analysts, Tsvangirai - accused by Mugabe of "being used by whites" and of colluding with Britain, the European Union, the United States and others opposed to ZANU-PF policies - is the most serious threat to Mugabe's authority since independence in 1980, when Mugabe became president.

Speaking to IRIN after spending about two hours in custody, Tsvangirai said no charges were laid against him. "They just picked me up and took me to Harare Central police station," he said. Tsvangirai said he was arrested because the police searched his house on Thursday and found one of his guards with a two-way radio. They returned to arrest him because he did not have a licence for the device. No licence is required for the radio under Zimbabwean law.

Tsvangirai said he was convinced his arrest was aimed at intimidating and harassing him and other government opposition ahead of next year's election.

He also said he did not think that regional heads of state would agree with the six-member SADC team which left Harare this week. The team was reported as saying that it supported government efforts to prevent and curb violence and opposed threats of sanctions against the country. "I am very certain that the heads of state will not endorse such a position ... I am sure they will have to review it in the face of overwhelming evidence of ongoing violence and the hate speeches made by Mugabe," he told IRIN.

Hitting back at Mugabe for calling the MDC terrorists who were bent on sewing lawlessness, Tsvangirai was quoted in news reports as saying: "It is the MDC that is a victim of government violence. It is Mugabe who is building institutions of violence. He is using the government agencies, the police, the army, militias. He has told police not to arrest ZANU (PF) thugs. Eighty-three MDC people have been killed and no one has been arrested. Who are the victims and who are the perpetrators?" he asked.

DPA reported that Tsvangirai has been arrested twice before. In May last year, shortly before parliamentary elections, he was held for four hours at a police roadblock and freed without charge, the report said.

He was arrested again earlier this year on allegations of "incitement to violence" following a statement he made at a party rally in September 2000. The courts threw the case out of court in November, saying that the "unsavoury colonial laws" under which he was charged were unconstitutional.
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Farm invasions and Security Report
Thursday 13th December 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.

Manicaland :  Tea Estate overrun with people.  Eastern border road blocked off.
Mashonaland West (South) Occupier moves into 2 rooms in farmhouse during owners absence
Mashonaland West (North) Farm workers chased off land and beaten by invaders.

Chpinge all the Tanganda Tea Estates are affected by a labour dispute that was instigated by casuals, demanding a salary they are not entitled to.  The estates are completely overrun by people and the Eastern Border road has been blocked off.  No violence has been reported as yet but there is a complete work stoppage.
Headlands The Head Security Guard on Headlands Estate arrested a squatter for stealing some wire, which has caused friction.  Some farmers have had steel pegs concreted in to lands on farm.

Mwenezi  The owner of La Pache Farm has been approached by the D.A. Mwenezi, CIO, and police officials, concerning his cattle eating illegal occupiers maize.  They have also complained about the owner throwing carcasses out to feed the vultures on his farm, saying it is their land and they do not appreciate this action.
Continued poaching, snaring and theft all over the area. Ploughing and planting also continues on a daily basis.
Chiredzi Poaching, snaring theft, ploughing and planting continue on many properties in the area.
Masvingo East and Central On Lamotte Farm the owner has reported to the police theft of 11 gate valves and 11 irrigation adaptors (total value $92 838.35).

Section 8 Orders are being distributed in the province.  Otherwise, the situation remains much the same.

Executive Committee meeting held therefore no report available. Details to be included in next report.
Chinhoyi   On Skiddaw Farm illegal invaders pulled out half a hectare of paprika worth some $250 000.  The Acting DA for Makonde defused the problem (11.12.01) 
It is estimated that settlers have planted 8% of available land in the area.
Banket\Trelawney  On Urundi farm invaders chased farm workers out of the land with sticks and walked them to the barn complex, about 3km away.  The farmer had to collect the Officer in Charge at Banket who defused the situation.  The workers  had been beaten with sticks by the invaders. The incident took place between 10am and 12.30pm on 12.12.01.

Norton - There are currently 14 farms in this area where farmers are not allowed to plant, or carry out farming activities.
Selous - A2 resettlement is being threatened, with one Deputy Minister involved in trying to take over an irrigation farm.
Chegutu/Suri-Suri - On Just Right the owners cattle allegedly strayed into maize belonging to settlers.  Settlers have pushed all the owners cattle into his garden.
Chakari/Kadoma/Battlefields - it appears that in some cases settlers are allowing farmers to plant, with the general rule being that they can plant 25% of normal.  Cattle have had to be moved off Deweras, Chevy Chase, Cigaro, and Railway Farm 4 in the last few weeks, due to demands from settlers.  On Mazarita Estate occupiers have moved into two rooms in the main homestead, in the owners absence.  Chief Inspector Makanza has been to the farm but has not removed them.  The Chief Inspector said that once a farm has been listed it is considered "acquired".  The land issue is fast becoming a house issue, with settlers wanting to move into houses  on  Alabama   Hellaby and  Teesin etc.  On Normandy North and Alabama no workers have been allowed to come to work for several days.  This includes domestics.  According to some of the workers, Chief Inspector Makanza called a meeting before this and stated that the workers "should not work for the white man".  The workers were also told that they "should not be surprised if they were beaten up if they did go to work".  Chief Inspector Makanza also stated "we have the land now, and if you want to work you must work for us".  The workers are not allowed to plant their own crops in the lands that are lying idle and have had to plant small patches around their houses.  On Railway Farm 4 the owner received a death threat, as occupiers want him to move off his farm.                                       Visit the CFU Website 

The opinions in this message do not necessarily reflect those of the Commercial Farmers' Union which does not accept any legal responsibility for them.
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ZIMBABWE: Zimbabweans say free and fair elections first

HARARE, 14 December (IRIN) - Lot Hove paces up and down the hall at the government-run employment exchange in downtown Harare with a newspaper in his hand. He is one of several hundred job seekers in the place.

Hove is clearly irritated with the main story in the state-controlled Herald newspaper. It says that southern African leaders have expressed support for President Robert Mugabe's land redistribution programme and have criticised Britain for dishonouring pledges to bankroll the reforms.

"We do not have jobs because someone messed up the economy," the unemployed Hove told IRIN this week. "We want a free and fair election now so that we can choose someone to lead us through this crisis. Let those SADC (Southern African Development Community) people or anyone else accept this or they should just leave us alone."

Zimbabwe's economy has been in decline since October 1999, when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) froze financial aid because of differences with Harare over policy and its failure to meet agreed fiscal targets. It hit rock-bottom after militant government supporters began seizing white-owned farms as part of the ruling ZANU-PF party's chaotic and politicised land reform process, according to analysts.

As foreign capital and Western donors fled the lawlessness and violence this year, the economic crisis manifested itself in acute shortages of foreign currency and fuel. Now, looming food shortages, as a result of bad weather earlier this year, could spark civil unrest, observers warn.

Fearful of the collapse of the region's second largest economy, SADC leaders in September formed a special committee to complement international pressure on Mugabe to halt the land invasions. This week, SADC ministers held two days of talks in Harare to audit the government's commitment to the land agreement, in which the authorities had pledged to act within the rule of law.

In their final communiqué on Tuesday 11 December, the SADC ministers reiterated that land was at the core of Zimbabwe's problems and called on all stakeholders to ensure the problem was resolved amicably.

But for Hove and many other Zimbabweans, the SADC initiative is too soft on Mugabe and misses the point.
Outside the gate of the job centre this week, a woman fruit vendor who gave her name only as Chido, told IRIN that her concern was the presidential elections in March, rather than land. "Will this SADC you are talking about ensure the violence will end and that we will be able to vote freely? I also do not have land but I think if we can vote and have peace again then we can resolve this land issue," she said.

"President Mugabe and even SADC are correct when they say land is a key problem, but that is not what most people here want now," said Peter Hana, a University of Zimbabwe graduate who has never been formally employed.

Like most of his colleagues, the 27-year-old Hana was born and bred in the overcrowded townships of Harare. When his father, a street-side grocer, was knocked down in a hit-and-run accident 12 years ago, his mother took over the business to get Hana through school.

But five years after coming out top of his class at the university, Hana still has to depend on the small income from his mother's vending business. Zimbabwe has an unemployment rate of 50 percent.

Hana told IRIN he supported land reform because of the injustices of white settler rule that resulted in a mere 4,500 white farmers owning 80 percent of the best agriculture land, while some six million black villagers were crammed into the barren communal areas.
But he said he believed, like most of his friends, that resolving Zimbabwe's multi-faceted crisis needed new management. "A new leader with a fresh mandate won through a free and fair presidential election who should then lead the way forward regarding not only land, but HIV/AIDS, unemployment and many other national problems," he said.
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Daily News

An election needs to be recognised by others

12/14/01 6:19:08 AM (GMT +2)

A number of foreign countries, among them the United States and the
countries of the European Union, have threatened not to recognise the result
of the Presidential election to be held in March, if they deem it not to
have been free and fair.

The government's response, to quote President Mugabe's favourite retort to
other such external challenges, was: "Go to hell!" This cockiness has become
so predictable we suspect nobody in the government appreciates just how
ridiculous it makes them look.

If they engaged their critics in civilised dialogue - not walking out on
them or shouting abuse at them - they would lose absolutely nothing.

Their arguments might even gain respectability, although that seems
unlikely, considering how outlandish some of them are.

An election supervised by an independent commission could give the
government an international image highly coveted by any developing country
having difficulty
borrowing money from anywhere because of its pariah status.

Allowing international election observers into the country would erase in
one fell swoop Mugabe's odious reputation of "a power-crazed, aged
dictator", to quote Ed Royce, a United States Congressman.

It would demonstrate, once and for all, that the government had nothing to
hide, that it had enough confidence in its popularity with the voters not to
be frightened of a level election playing field.

But what they have done, instead, is to harp on the fact that Zimbabwe is a
sovereign state which will not be dictated to by other countries, especially
the former colonial master.

Yet Zimbabwe belongs to many international organisations who have a common
bond, be it a commitment to democratic values or a deliberate policy of
fighting corruption in high places.

Membership of these organisations calls for the country to conform to
certain specified norms of government. Sovereignty is all very well, but if
it turns the country into a renegade state, shunned by the rest of the
civilised world, it's hardly worthwhile.

To put it mildly, the government is nervous about going into an election
where the playing field is absolutely level.

For one thing, this must be alien territory for Zanu PF. Free and fair
elections, without killings, violence, intimidation and even a bit of
rigging, have not been held in Zimbabwe since independence.

Zanu PF has ensured victory through coercion, at the very least.

For another thing, the thought of another politician being installed as
President of the republic seems to send Zanu PF into a frenzy.

So, Mugabe's nervousness is understandable. He announced the month of the
election, but not the date. The announcement was made during an unusual
occasion - a meeting at his offices with foreign delegations.

Surely, protocol must demand a more formal occasion for such a momentous

The people have been waiting, if not with bated breath, then most certainly
with eager anticipation, for the announcement. By any calculation, this
Presidential election is the most eagerly-awaited since independence.

Mugabe and his party are clearly uncertain of the outcome. Certainly, no
crystal ball gazing would provide them with the prediction to which they
have become accustomed - a landslide victory.

The prospect of defeat is what makes them so agitated every time people,
Zimbabweans and foreigners, ask them about a level electoral playing field.

But it is time for them to heed the warnings of a potentially explosive
situation if the elections are judged, by the entire world, not to be
entirely free and fair.

To retort with the customary "go to hell!" bombast may not be enough to
assuage the anxieties of a nation believing itself to be on the brink of

Thabo Mbeki's warning of civil conflict is not to be treated lightly.

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Daily News

New electoral changes licence for rigging: Hondora

12/14/01 7:23:48 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

Tawanda Hondora, a prominent lawyer and human rights activist, on Tuesday
described some of the changes to the Electoral Act in a Bill now before
Parliament as a licence for the Registrar-General to rig elections.

Hondora, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, told a
public meeting sponsored by the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), in
Harare on the proposed changes: "The attorney-general is being given power
to rig elections. He is being given power to correct any error, to change
the voters roll at any time. On his own volition, or on application, he can
change the roll."

He said that at present the Attorney-General could only amend the voters
roll in the period before an election.

Part of the proposed amendment reads: "A voters' roll may be altered by the
Registrar-General at any time to correct any error or omission or to
change - whether on the oral or written application of a voter or not - the
original name and address of the voter to an altered name or address.

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Daily News

Environment suffers as land grabbers tear virgin farmland apart

12/14/01 7:22:03 AM (GMT +2)

By Ray Matikinye Features Editor

December has traditionally been a month for ceremonies and festivity.

For close to a decade and a half, Zimbabweans had become familiar with
hackneyed speeches encouraging them to replace trees they cut every year.

Bureaucrats standing in for absent ministers at tree-planting ceremonies in
remote rural areas parroted the national rhetoric - urging peasants to leave
behind a "green" heritage for future generation.

Now things are different.

This year no National Tree Planting Day ceremony of major significance was
Yet, an environmental disaster looms large on Zimbabwe's prime agricultural
land as thousands of peasant families stampede to occupy farmland across the
country in a skewed land distribution programme under the State-sponsored
Third Chimurenga.

Environmentalists and concerned citizens have watched helplessly as the new
settlers chop down trees indiscriminately to build pole and mud huts and
prepare land for ploughing.

The new settlers disregard the environmental damage they are causing.
"God is not a fool to have created more than 12,5 million farmers in
Zimbabwe," Isaac Manyemba, the publicity and information secretary for the
now dormant opposition Zimbabwe Union of Democrats once said.

He was criticising government's slapdash approach to land distribution and
the threat it was posing to the environment.

Manyemba said Zimbabwe would have been unique had God dispensed with all His
wisdom and created a country populated solely by farmers, as the government
wanted the electorate to believe.

"Land redistribution has been abused by the ruling Zanu PF for political
expediency," Manyemba said then.

When President Mugabe threatened at an election rally in Mutoko in 1985, to
repossess land from white commercial farmers - unless the British provided
funds to compensate "their kith and kin" - most peasants eking out a living
on unproductive land in overcrowded rural areas hailed the threat as long

But when gullible villagers from overcrowded rural Svosve took the cue from
Zanu PF rhetoric and scurried to occupy neighbouring farmland, they were
forcibly evicted as squatters illegally occupying private property.

The State accused the settlers of causing rampant deforestation and railed
against them for grabbing land without the government's say-so.

Zanu PF had yet to come to terms with the abundant political mileage it
could garner for its own survival then.

Since February last year, the once lush green Zimbabwean agricultural
landscape has been transformed into a motley of mud huts, tree stumps and
charred pastures as new settlers torch flora and fauna in a land preparation
process resembling Russia's World War II "scorched earth" military strategy
against Hitler's Germany.

Invariably, the rudimentary homesteads do not seem to have either cattle
pens or pit latrines, raising suspicion that the beneficiaries are unsure of
their security of tenure.
Some people suspect government could be using new settlers as political
pawns to be flushed out after the Presidential election.

Others see it as covert gerrymandering in line with recent amendments to the
Electoral Act.

"We have heard numerous threats by all provincial governors and other
politicians, that beneficiaries stand to lose their plots if they do not
occupy them now. This illustrates the villagers' mistrust of Zanu PF

"It also points to the sad fact that the ruling party's programme has failed
to capture the imagination of even those Zimbabweans in dire need,"
opposition MDC spokesman, Learnmore Jongwe says.

The government has accused commercial farmers and their workers of torching
the grass to deny new settlers thatch for their new homes.

State officials have made token attempts to stem the rate of deforestation.

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing,
Ignatius Chombo accused commercial farmers of inciting their workers to burn
the grass.

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Daily News

Police admit to injuring Methodist reverend

12/14/01 7:21:18 AM (GMT +2)

By Pedzisai Ruhanya

THE Harare police have admitted causing serious injury to Rev Saul Tadzaushe
of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe in a shooting incident in May.

They say they are prepared to settle the matter out of court.

Tadzaushe, who is based in Marondera, and two other people were in May
seriously injured when they were shot by drunk police officers. The
intestines and spleen of a colleague of the pastor were ruptured.

Tadzaushe, through his lawyers, Stumbles and Rowe, is claiming more than
$1,13 million from the police in damages for injuries he sustained in the

In a letter to Augustine Chihuri, the Police Commissioner, dated 16 June
2001, Tadzaushe said on 25 May 2001 he was coming from Mount Pleasant to
solemnise a marriage in the company of Washington Chatora and Blessing
Marimazhira when the incident happened.

He said he drove to Glen Norah A to drop his family. "On our way back we
drove along Highfield Road. Before reaching Harare Hospital we noticed that
a vehicle was menacingly flashing its lights behind us and we pulled over
and stopped," reads parts of the letter. Tadzaushe said the other vehicle
also stopped and a violent and abusive man disembarked and started
threatening and shouting at them, while ordering them to leave their car

"It was clear that he was drunk, and his eyes were looking very wild and
bloody," he said. He said the man was dressed in civilian clothes and they
thought he was a car-jacker. "This man continued to harass us for quite some
time in spite of the fact that I was dressed in my clerical attire, complete
with collar," he said.

He said as the three struggled to come out of their car, he was shot above
the right knee by an unknown assailant from the assailant's vehicle.

"As Chatora left the vehicle, he was hit by a live bullet from the
intruders' vehicle on the left side of his stomach. He struggled to cross
the road with his intestines coming out from the gaping wound. We pleaded
with them for assistance with our bleeding but to no avail," he said.

"They drove us to Harare Hospital all the while talking to us boastfully
saying they had arrested criminals. All of them were drunk," Tadzaushe said.

He said the police officers only realised that the three were not criminals
when he asked one of them to call Assistant Commissioner Munyaradzi

Tadzaushe said the police officers never apologised for their serious
assaults, "amounting to attempted murder. Nor did they ever visit us in
hospital. Their behaviour was inhuman and inconsiderate".

Tadzaushe said the bullet tore through his leg, cracking his right fibula
while Chatora's spleen had to be removed surgically.

"All of us have been subjected to severe mental and physical shock. The
trauma will obviously hurt us for the rest of our lives. It is very sad that
this has been occasioned by your officers, the police whom we expect to
protect us," reads the letter.

On 9 October, Tadzaushe's lawyer, Rumbidzai Jakanani, wrote to John Nkomo,
the Minister of Home Affairs, saying she had been instructed by her client
to sue the police.
The letter was copied to Andrew Chigovera, the Attorney General, and
Chihuri. The letter said: "Pursuant to this attack, our client instructs
that he is unable to engage in meaningful work and is suffering from a
certain amount of disability and mental suffering caused by such.

"Our client has instructed us to proceed with charges claiming damages both
physical and mental against such officers and yourself due to your vicarious
responsibility for delictual and criminal acts committed by members of the
police force," it said.

"Delictual" means a civil wrong redressable by compensation or a civil suit.

On 23 October, Chief Superintendent Benjamin Mhiripiri, a staff officer in
the police legal service department, wrote to Stumbles and Rowe
acknowledging police responsibility.

Mhiripiri said: "We acknowledge receipt of your intention to sue dated 9
October 2001. We advise that we have already been in touch with your clients
and have indicated our willingness to negotiate an out-of-court settlement.
We are now waiting for a list of assessed damages before we can come up with
an offer."

On 5 December 2001, Jakanani wrote to Chihuri, Nkomo and the Attorney
General's Office quantifying the damages, giving them 10 days to come up
with a settlement.
She said: "Our client's claim as by way of damages of $1 130 331 000 plus
interest more fully set as: general damages in the sum of $1 000 000 plus
interest from 25 May 2001, special damages of $70 331,06 plus interest from
19 September 2001 and $60 000 being damages for loss of amenities in life
plus interest."

She said they arrived at the figures because Tadzaushe underwent medical
treatment and had to use crutches. "Our client suffered severe pain when he
fractured the middle third of his right fibula. To date he still walks with
a limp and he experiences pain from time to time. It has been confirmed that
he is now permanently five percent disabled," read the letter.

Jakanani on Wednesday refused to say whether the police had yet made an
offer. "I am not in a position to discuss the matter with the Press at the
moment as this will jeopardise my client's case. It is in the best interest
of my client that I should not talk to the Press," she said.

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Dr Duncan Clarke


The state of political play in Zimbabwe not only raises global concern as it should, but also deeper issues about the nature of the regime - from its origins, through its operational track record, and about its current reign of barely mitigated terror and confiscations.

And new reflections now emerge, requiring clinical objectivity, that readily demonstrate a pattern of violent actions, Presidential irresponsibility and major damaging consequences.

For indeed, at few times and for limited periods in the course of the ZANU-PF era (1965-2001) has unambiguous normality prevailed: whether in times of active "self-legitimated" violence (justified by proponents as "armed struggle") spanning the pre-Independence Chimurenga, through the early Liberation Years of Gukhuarundi (genocide wrought on the AmaNdebele – justified as "the sweeping away of the ashes"), during the emasculating State-controlled quasi-totalitarianism in the 1980s and 1990s (variously depicted at times as Marxist-Leninism, Socialism and Zimbabweanisation), and now evident in the new wave of State-orchestrated Terrorism (via militias, "war veterans", land invaders, apparatchiks, youth brigades, and the like) in the late 20th Century and early Third Millennium.

Zimbabwe’s leadership and its now-dominant Party has planted, watered and tendered these seeds of Terrorism, and now created many of the dimensions and foundations of a Terrorist-Sponsored State.

For here is a "Government" – the true use of that epithet is an abomination – and a "President" (much less gracious descriptions come to mind), with anointed Chefs, cohorts and clients, and at least a 21-year liability, that has built its roadmap and survival on a pathway of blood.

Not all acts in the struggle for Majority Rule over 1965-80 (yes, that was what it was called) had the overtones of "acts of war". Many acts of guerrilla-terrorist violence directed at white settlers, rural Africans and myriad others were quintessentially Terrorist in nature: viz. the casual if calculated infliction of violence for political ends and as a means to inculcate fear and compliance in the minds and hearts of those that might not succumb to ZANU and later ZANU-PF’s dubious electoral charms.

Many of the liberation movement’s victims indeed were inter or intra-Party foes, Dare members, political dissidents, nominated "sell-outs", ideological "deviants", Tribal Elders, Official Chiefs, ethnic "others" (whether white, Ndebele, Karanga, ChiManyika, Korekore or Zezuru), Party competitors for position, military threats (inside ZANLA, ZIPRA and ZAPU), and the like. Even the Rhodesian Army remained mostly a partial and episodic target, and one often avoided for much softer opportunities of cowardly intimidation – villagers, the elderly, isolated farms, rival Nationalist Movements, and so on – the list is a long one.

Then to Independence in 1980: power arrived if not at the barrel of the gun, then with up-front threats and armaments in storage, latterly in the form of the Armed State, much augmented beyond reasonable dimension primarily for internal purposes – witnessed rapidly in a Prime Ministerial-orchestrated onslaught by the North Korean-trained 5th Brigade on mostly rural innocents in Matabeleland: a gruesome set of massacres, burnings, butchery and draconian intimidation (much documented by the Catholic Justice & Peace Commission) that has yet to be in any way reasonably atoned or compensated, let alone accounted for in the local or international Halls of Justice.

Throughout the 1980s and much of the 1990s the instruments of State (an expanded Army, inflated Central Intelligence Organisation, politicized Police, and State-funded Veterans Association) were augmented at the expense of the population and its normal democratic social and economic interests.

Enhanced State control became the sine qua non of economic and political management. Respect for the Rule of Law became eroded, and manipulated into the contemporary use of Courts and Judges for Party political and Presidential servitude. And so the denial and abuse of human rights became widespread.

A warped One-Party State Ideology dominated common sense – often in even simple and practical matters regarding economic management, social reform, Parliamentary order, and legal status.

Constitutional "adjustments" designed for the powers-that-be were exercised at least 18 times in 21 years. This included the naked if ingenuous disenfranchisement and citizenship-removal of hundreds of thousands born in the country.

Periodic Electoral manipulation served the Masters of Monomotapa. Their Servants (the Povo) were reduced to penury, and thereby made easier to control through the regulation of food (including Food Aid), fear and ultimately famine.

Control of the Press and later its intimidation and attempted repression (fire-bombing, arrests, deportations, torture, and use of legal fiat) was implemented as a necessity for the retention of fading power and diminished legitimacy. Propaganda in the form of the Ministry of "Information" took on a grotesque and Kafkaesque quality.

The loss of any residual compassion by the inheritors of a once viable albeit imperfect "democratic order" was rapid and pervasive. The use of racism and ethnicity (vis-à-vis whites, democrats, civil society, Gays & Lesbians, others) as a tool of separatism invited the spectre of divide-and-rule strategies, ethnic-cleansing, and measures whose results have led many to vote-with-their feet (in emigration, skills flight, and displacement across the Limpopo – Southern Africa’s Rio Grande), while forcing others to become "internally displaced persons", especially so in the case of now multitudes of both local and foreign-born farmworkers ("They – the latter - have no Totem", was the President’s ultimate cultural insult). The million-plus Ndebele and many others displaced into South Africa constituted another category of the discarded and neglected.

The elected Opposition by definition has been depicted as inherently "disloyal" (its leader made a target of assassination attempts), and thousands of MDC supporters made the subject of continuous attacks by State-assisted and armed militias in complicity with organs of the State (Army, CIO and Police). The use of what has been widely-perceived as periodic targeted political intimidation (with beatings, burnings, whippings, detentions, imprisonments) has not escaped this unhappy landscape. Ishe Komborera Zimbabwe (God Bless Zimbabwe), it might be said, because no one else in authority will.

Confiscation of lands, assets and properties has continued unabated as only an extension of a long record of larceny. The theft of State funds by a corrupt Presidential entourage and Party elite (raised to an art form, resembling advanced Kleptocratic States elsewhere) has become de rigeur.

State-mandated evictions from commercial farms has been "sold" as "land reform", indigenisation and the finale of a long-lost "Revolution", thinly disguising the primary aim of securing private wealth for Party stalwarts and Civil Servants, as well as above all else the retention of permanent tenure in Office for the President and Party.

Any semblance of reasonable macro-economic management has been sublimated to the dictates of guaranteed penury for the population and privilege for the Party. That Zimbabwe will not now ever recover to its Independence level of real income per head, appears to be of little concern to the interests of "Ministers of State".

The Spokesmen for this State (Ministers, High Commissioners, Others) peddle inanities grossly at variance with the appalling record, as sycophants to His Master’s Voice. A few have taken the courage to abandon the rotting Ship of State, and flee abroad. Detachment from the facts has unhinged their cognitive abilities.

Truth in any relativist or objective sense has now become a prisoner to political convenience, and Zimbabwe’s History reduced to acts of crude revisionism.

Hopes that any minimal moral compass might yet guide the affairs of State have been deeply and irrevocably compromised by increasingly desperate measures designed to perpetuate a new paradigm built on this evident History of Terror.

That all this has led to rampant disorder and anarchy, amidst deep fear amongst the many, should not disguise how such a status quo aids and supports the now much-threatened and incumbent regime, regaled in the trappings of a pseudo-legitimate State.

The State has no need of its even flawed democratic institutions (and so it undermines them), goodwill in the form of regional advice and cooperation (which it regularly resists), international agreements it strikes (which it dismisses, or finesses with threats), reasonable international legitimacy (which it ignores), or normal legal constraints (which it breaches).

Mugabe has been disposed more than once to reject support from the IMF-IBRD and Aid Agencies with all manner of fallacious rantings about Neo-Colonialism and conspiracy. The "Government’s" failures to execute agreed Structural Adjustment Programs has had little to do with "conditionalities", and everything to do with its own narrow political agenda.

This regime does not seek respect, except its own, and it does not respect its inhabitants. It has no apparent need of an economic future for its people (which it leaves to chance, and at best The Hand of God). It is focused solely on its own survival at all cost, especially where any liabilities can be met by others. It now preaches little but hatred since it has no other currency of worth. Its alienation from principle and self-pity run extraordinarily deep. It envisages no way forward other than through accelerated continuity along a bloody path long trod.

Mugabe’s quasi-Stalinist symbols (Heroes Acres, Presidential photos in all public places, self-aggrandisment in Presidential motorcades) are not merely those of the flawed 20th Century but of a long bygone era much discounted on the world stage, and one rejected in much of Africa as long forgotten images of a flawed passage. The recent demented Presidential retreat to "Socialism" is only one manifestation of the archaic and nostalgic cause.

It is a sad and heart-rendering feeling to know that the attributes of the Terrorist State and State-Sponsored Terrorism have manifested in several deeply embedded ways: facts-on-the-ground, philosophy and values, violent actions, and numerous self-serving edicts – illustrated inter alia by a litany of State-influenced acts:

  • An impoverishment of its people whose lives and hopes have been wantonly and irresponsibly destroyed by the negligence and decisions of those in power;

  • By murders, rapes and brutalities perpetrated by unchecked and endorsed militia leaders (Chenjerai "Hitler" Hunzvi, only one amongst others) and "so-called veterans", often aided and abetted by a politicized "Police" (or at generous best, unconstrained thereby), their negative impact exhibited in spreading acts of needless and senseless violence, in the tradition of all cowards, mostly against the weak and vulnerable;

  • Through the evidence of centers of crude torture (one run by Hunzvi in Harare, and most recently in the Matopos) left to function without any interdiction or cessation let alone proper judicial invesigation;

  • Via the prominence of selected "mafiosa" (both Presidential relatives and others) hoisted into key positions of patronage, dependent by acceptance on an increasingly gerentocratic and unbalanced leadership, to the detriment of the populace;

  • By the non-Parliamentary approval and execution of a "private" war waged in a foreign African land, contributing to the ongoing tragedy of the DRC, for the singlular benefit of a small political elite and their economic interests;

  • By established fiefdoms in "Government" and its parastatal agencies, designed for little but to serve entrenched pecuniary personal interests;

  • Through authoritarian measures taken against local and foreign NGOs, the domestic independent and foreign Press (with torture but one instrument of management), and alienation of much-needed International Aid Agencies;

  • By self-created de-linkage from the regional and global world, along the lines of North Korea, Kampuchea and other Bastard States.

  • In the enunciation of numerous and pervasive "conspiracies" discovered for all that inevitably goes wrong – blamed with much convenience on the usual suspects: the MDC Opposition, "Rhodesians", white Zimbabweans, Churches, NGOs, South Africans, Foreign Governments (typically British and American Imperialists) - indeed the more the merrier, all of whom it seems have had no other mission in life but to awake each morning and calculate, plan and plot against ZANU-PF and Mugabe.

It can be no surprise that Zimbabwe’s "Government", and the de jure and de facto Head of State, attract few reasonable friends, and are aligned with those on the wrong side of the civilized global community.

Nor can one but read into Mugabe’s regular "escape" through persistent taxpayer-funded foreign travel as but a flight from the consequences of his many "irrational" deeds, and self-help therapy for an increasing chronic pathological behaviour. The troubled soul needs its refuge, and Mugabe’s has sought balm in foreign climes where ignorance has too often allowed the trappings of power to cloud any judgment of the facts.

This State of Terrorism has many deep and historical roots, but even more contemporary manifestations. They need acknowledgement.

Those in the Zimbabwe political hierarchy (ZANU-PF, Politburo, Central Committee, and other "clandestine" extra-Parliamentary cabals), with so much blood on their hands, have become much accustomed to its presence, and disinclined to wash the past, and now the present, in the light of any acceptable contemporary standards of governance and civility.

"Smart sanctions" sound deeply implausible as any panacea for all this, while "quiet Diplomacy" has died a predictably quiet death, and yet still the Terrorist State appears immune - except for the rumblings of a potential civil war that might yet come, and could last many a year.

It is already extremely late. A Terrorist-Sponsored State is in advanced birth on the doorstep of democratic South Africa, and looks increasingly like it may haunt History and The House of Stone for some time to come.

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Daily News

Chronicle ditches Mugabe

12/14/01 7:14:16 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporters

AS the Zanu PF congress opened in Victoria Falls yesterday to reaffirm
President Mugabe's candidature in the Presidential election, the
government-owned Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) group which has been
vigorously campaigning for Mugabe, suddenly ditched the ruling party leader

The Bulawayo-based Chronicle dumped Mugabe as its favourite horse and
suggested that an obscure party could win the Presidential election now
scheduled for next March.

In an unprecedented turn, The Chronicle, which, together with The Herald, is
published by Zimpapers, yesterday carried a story in which it boldly claimed
that Paul Siwela, secretary-general of the little-known Zapu party, would
win the Presidential poll.

Mugabe, whose party now virtually dictates the editorial and advertising
policies at Zimpapers, is expected to be re-endorsed as the Zanu PF
candidate during the party's congress.

Mugabe will face his stiffest competition from the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai.

Since last year, Information Minister Jonathan Moyo has instituted several
major changes at Zimpapers and fired several editors at both The Chronicle
and The Herald, replacing them with those he is confident would toe the Zanu
PF line.

The Chronicle surprised its readers by tipping Siwela to win next year's
Presidential election - ahead of both Mugabe and Tsvangirai. Of late, The
Chronicle has been parading Zapu as a formidable opposition party, capable
of tipping the scales despite its small support base, even in Bulawayo.

In September the MDC beat hands down, both Zanu PF and Zapu in the mayoral
and council elections in Bulawayo.

Zapu, in spite of its claims that it is now supported nationwide, did not
field a candidate in last weekend's mayoral election in Chegutu where,
again, the MDC beat Zanu PF.

While it is generally believed that Mugabe, 77, the pariah of the Sadc
regional grouping as well as the international community, will struggle to
retain power next year, Zimpapers publications have poignantly stood by him
and said that he stands to win next year's contest by a vast margin.

As a result of the tight government control on editorial policy, all
Zimpapers publications have now lost their readership, as confirmed by the
latest Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey (ZAMPS) results released in Harare
last Thursday.

The Daily News, the only independent daily in the country, now leads both
The Herald and The Chronicle in readership and circulation, barely
two-and-a-half years after its launch.

Meanwhile, as The Chronicle waxed lyrical about Siwela's bright chances in
the Presidential race, Agrippa Madlela, the president of Zapu, attacked his
secretary-general for being used by "the Zanu PF Press" to divide the people
of Matabeleland.

Madlela said Zanu PF was using the same tactic it tried to employ to divide
the MDC by creating non-existent power struggles.

He wondered why the "Zanu PF Press" would give Siwela so much publicity at
expense of other party leaders.

"He is a self-appointed person supported by Zanu PF. The current executive
of Zapu has the mandate of leadership until 2003," he said. "So there is no
question of who, but me, will stand as the Presidential candidate." He said
he had spoken to Siwela about the issue.
Madlela said statements like those attributed to the party as being against
the MDC were false because Zapu and the MDC were united in their resolve to
dislodge Zanu PF from power.

"The only difference we have with the MDC is that we are for the federal
system of government which the MDC seems against. If we could resolve that
difference then we could form a coalition," he said.

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Daily News

President threatens to attack opponents

12/14/01 7:15:58 AM (GMT +2)

Staff Reporter

PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday threatened his opponents with a "physical fight"
and lashed out at British Prime Minister Tony Blair, calling him a crook, a
scoundrel and a liar.

Mugabe was addressing the Zanu PF annual conference in Victoria Falls ahead
of the Presidential election in March next year.

He said: "We must prepare for a physical fight. We must maintain a high
sense of caution and security because we have seen the enemy's capacity for
evil and murder. Our youths should rally behind us in defence of our

Analysts have said that Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, could
lose to Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC, in the Presidential election.

Mugabe accused the MDC of being used by whites and called for the
"sharpening of our propaganda machinery to match British deceit".

"The British were brought up as a violent people, liars, scoundrels and
crooks and I am told that Blair was a troublesome little boy at school,"
said Mugabe. "So we cannot have reasonable dialogue with such people."

There is disagreement over the land reform programme and the rule of law
between Zimbabwe, on the one hand, and Britain, the United States and the
European Union, on the other.

"Like Nicodemuses at night, they clandestinely move from one country to
another wanting to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe," said Mugabe.

"They are bound to fail because there is solid support for our land
programme in the region."

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