Postponed to 13th and 14th January, 2001
VOTE BONNIE PAKAI - YOUR M.D.C. CANDIDATE FOR BIKITA WEST
Unconfirmed reports just received from Masvingo indicate that similar intimidatory tactics as used in the Marondera West by-election commenced over this past weekend. A convoy of war vets and ZANU-PF supporters allegedly arrived in the Constituency on Saturday. We hope to be able to issue confirmed reports of such occurrences in the future.
Camps have been set up at strategic points and reports of beatings have already been received together with a report of an alleged kidnapping. It is alleged that Police are monitoring the activities of imported ZANU-PF cadres but are failing to take any action against acts of intimidation.
It is important that anyone with any information on persons involved in alleged political violence, human rights abuses, or other illegal activities should report these to the Police, ensuring that they obtain a report number, and the name and force number of the attending Police Officer. It is also important to report the same information to the Party Support Groups - including this office - in order to maintain as much pressure as possible for the maintenance of the Rule of Law. This information will be recorded and passed on to relevant authorities / NGOs, etc, in confidence.
As much information as possible should be supplied, including where possible:
- the location of any camps from which the alleged perpetrators come, if possible with map references
- the registration numbers and descriptions of vehicles used by alleged perpetrators,
- the names/descriptions of any alleged perpetrators,
- a description of what the alleged perpetrators did, a description of any weapons used, the nature and seriousness of any injuries, details of any loss of property, and the date, time and place of witnessed occurrences.
- the names of victims and witnesses if at all possible (these names may only be supplied with the victims' permission).
Such information will be treated with the utmost confidence. Victims should be encouraged (but not pressured) to make reports to the relevant authorities to ensure that their Constitutional rights are upheld, and that the Rule of Law is maintained.
It is vital that MDC holds onto this Parliamentary Seat. Whereas some funds are available, these are limited. Additional monies are required to run an effective campaign against ZANU-PF's well established election machine. MDC does not have access to Government funding, therefore it is necessary to appeal to democratic Zimbabweans and institutions to fight this campaign. Donations can be made to:
Barclays Bank, Masvingo, The Geld Fund, Branch number 2509, Account Number 0363441.
Remember - your vote is secret!
No-one will know how you voted!
Tell ZANU-PF what they what to hear - but vote with your heart on the day!
Vote for your rights!
Vote for your children's future!
Vote for peace and prosperity for our Nation!
VOTE FOR DEMOCRACY!
COMMERCIAL FARMERS’ UNION
Farm invasions and security report
9th to 15th December 2000
CFU HAS NOT “DECLARED WAR”
CFU President, Tim Henwood, has refuted claims that the Commercial Farmers’ Union has “declared war” on the people of Zimbabwe. “It is a sad indictment when our attempts to steer the land reform programme back towards the framework provided by the Constitution and the Law are interpreted as a declaration of war. The disastrous consequences of an unplanned, free-for-all resettlement programme, with inadequate resources, are entirely predictable. If we continue down this road, the people of Zimbabwe will become the victims, rather than beneficiaries of land redistribution. I wish to assure the Nation that members of the Commercial Farmers’ Union remain committed to socio-agrarian reform in Zimbabwe within the framework of the Law.”
The sustainability of past resettlement has been brought into question through the active involvement of resettlement farmers in the current land grab. Illegal occupiers on Zintafuli Farm in Chinhoyi were resettled by government on Kanyanga Estate only two years ago. Resettlement farmers from Tsunga and Ringa resettlement schemes have threatened at least two Beatrice farmers.
FARM WORKERS EVICTED BY WAR VETERANS
There is an emerging pattern of war veterans evicting farm workers from their houses. During the week, the farm village at Chirobi in Glendale was attacked, farm workers were assaulted and some houses were destroyed. War veterans and followers removed workers’ possessions at Danbury Park in Mazowe and the owner of Wenimbe Farm in Marondera was threatened that “we will see who ends up in the mortuary” after he refused to give in to demands to evict workers from his property.
ANTHRAX – NINE PEOPLE DEAD
So far, nine people have died and over 600 people have been hospitalised due to the Anthrax outbreak in Mhondoro. Despite this, the authorities remain unwilling to resolve the illegal movement of cattle out of the quarantine area.
KAROI FARMER ASSAULTED
The owner of Nyamanda Farm in Karoi was severely beaten by illegal occupiers following an altercation when the invaders attempted to prevent work. A group of about 40 invaders, one armed with a machete, confronted the farmer and at least seven were involved in the attack. The farmer defended himself with a baton, but sustained severe bruising. At least one invader was injured. Superintendent Mabunda is investigating the case and has instructed that the farmer be charged with assault.
SOME ARRESTS MADE
During the week, three poachers were arrested in Wedza and four invaders were arrested following a work stoppage in Chinhoyi. In a successful joint reaction between the police and the community, two members of an armed gang were arrested in Chegutu after they abducted a farm guard and one other worker.
In Kadoma, a war veteran was trampled and badly bruised by a buffalo. When the farmer returned to the camp after taking the injured person for first aid, the other war vets attacked his vehicle.
HARARE: A woman was fatally struck by a stray police bullet on Saturday when a fight broke out between police and mini-bus drivers in Harare, a police spokesman said.
The shooting happened early Saturday, after police tried to arrest a commuter mini-bus driver in connection with an alleged hit-and-run accident, police spokesman Bothwell Mugariri said.
Police were firing shots into the air to disperse a crowd that had gathered around the driver's vehicle, when a mini-bus worker tried to take away one of the police's guns, Mugariri said.
During the struggle, the gun fired and killed a female street vendor, Mugariri said.
"Police regret the incident," Mugariri said, adding that police were still trying to contact the woman's relatives.
The shooting prompted a small riot, which police broke up with tear gas, he said.
The rioters stoned shops and cars, and burned a police vehicle beyond repair, Muagriri said.
Three people who work for the commuter mini-buses were arrested in connection with the incident, and two police officers were injured, he said.
A cameraman for the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation was also injured, the network said.
ZBC reported that the woman was survived by two adult children, one of whom was to be married Saturday. (AFP)
Mugabe, 76, endorsed as leader by delegates at the carefully stage-managed event, told cheering supporters he would press on with the controversial seizures of white-owned farms that have threatened to push the country into anarchy.
"I will not let you down, I will never let you down," he told the roaring crowd of 7,000 at a sports stadium in Harare, the capital.
"We will get our land back. Next year must close the land chapter and see the people as owners of their land and not as semi-slaves and serfs."
The comments came days after Henry Elsworth, a former MP, was murdered, reportedly at the hands of war veterans armed by the government.
Some Zanu-PF officials had seen the congress as a chance to confront a leader who, according to polls, has become a liability in the run-up to the presidential election due in 2002.
Surveys suggest that if a vote were held tomorrow, Mugabe would lose heavily to Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The younger members of the president's party, in particular, do not want to be dragged down with him.
Any potential leadership challenge melted away, however, partly because Mugabe had purged provincial branches of rivals. He consolidated his power with a reshuffle of the politburo, the party's supreme policy-making body, bringing in several younger men while dumping those seen as rivals or failures. New appointees included Jonathan Moyo, the government's combative spin doctor, and Border Gezi, the youth minister, who saved Mugabe's Mashonaland heartland from the MDC by galvanising war veterans and young party supporters.
Eddison Zvobgo, a former cabinet minister who dared to describe Mugabe's land seizures as illegal and racist was dropped. So, too, was Chen Chimutengwende, the former information minister, who paid the price for Mugabe's defeat in a constitutional referendum last February and for Zanu-PF's poor performance in June's parliamentary elections.
Mugabe won ringing endorsements from delegates over policies blamed for Zimbabwe's economic problems. Factories are closing and farms are under siege. Prospective donors are delaying the transfer of funds as lawlessness intensifies on once-productive farms.
Long petrol queues have become emblematic of a nation in crisis. Disposable income has fallen by 70% in the past year, while unemployment has reached 60%.
Nine people have been killed and 630 hospitalised in Zimbabwe following an outbreak of the cattle disease, anthrax.
Farmers say attempts to control the spread of the disease have been undermined by the refusal of the police to prevent the movement of cattle onto land illegally occupied by government supporters.
Supplies of vaccine are reported to have run short, heightening fears of a more severe outbreak.
Since cases of anthrax began appearing in the Mhondoro communal farming area to the south west of Harare a month ago, nearly 50 cattle have died.
The disease is passed to humans through contact with the animals, or eating infected meat.
Victims suffer from nausea and fever, developing sores.
In normal times Zimbabwe's relatively efficient veterinary service would be expected to control the outbreak.
These, though, are far from normal times.
Commercial farmers bordering the communal area say potentially infected cattle are being driven onto their land without hindrance.
Problems set to increase
The police, who have done little or nothing to prevent the illegal invasions of white-owned farms by government supporters throughout the country, are reluctant to become involved.
The shortage of hard currency in Zimbabwe has made matters even worse, hindering efforts to buy new stocks of vaccine.
In the south-east of the country there are growing fears of a serious outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.
Hundreds of kilometres of fencing have been cut down by squatters, allowing buffaloes to mix with domestic cattle.
Until the rule of law is restored on Zimbabwe's farms, such problems are likely to multiply.
Saturday, 16 December, 2000, 14:01 GMT
An outbreak of the cattle disease, anthrax, in Zimbabwe has killed at least nine people.
Another six hundred people have been admitted to hospital.
Farmers say attempts to control the spread of the disease in the Mhondoro communal farming area southwest of Harare have been undermined by the refusal of the police to stop cattle moving onto white-owned land illegally occupied by government supporters.
Supplies of vaccine are reported to have run short because of a lack of hard currency, heightening fears that the outbreak may worsen. Health officials have launched an information campaign to inform people of the symptoms.
The BBC correspondent in Harare says that until the rule of law is restored on Zimbabwe's farms, problems are likely to multiply.
From the newsroom of the BBC World Service