From ZWNEWS, 17
As the presidential election in March draws closer, the use of
violence by the government for political ends is escalating. The Zimbabwe Human
Rights NGO Forum last week released its monthly report on political violence for
November. The statistics, and the evidence from witness statements, are
simply horrifying. The report records six political murders or executions during
November alone, bringing the total of those known to have been killed since
January this year to 41. Eight kidnappings last month bring the year's
running total to 307. Over 2100 cases of torture, and nearly 1000 incidences of
unlawful detention, have been reported, and the human rights organisations who
compiled the report have documented that 70 000 farmworkers are now refugees in
their own country, having been forced off commercial farms by the "fast-track"
land seizures. The witness statements included in the November report are
nothing less than chilling. Again and again, victims - from all areas of the
country - state that the police have refused to come to their aid, or actively
assaulted them. Severe torture has been inflicted on the mere suspicion that
someone may be less than wholeheartedly supportive of Zanu PF. Those beaten
have, more often than not, been refused medical treatment.
Comment from The Globe & Mail
(Canada), 12 December
Robert Mugabe and his state-backed
thugs are tearing a nation apart. Why are we turning a blind eye? asks former
diplomat Art Wright
Zimbabwe's tragedy is that its President, Robert Mugabe,
confidently believing that the rest of the world will not respond, is
consciously promoting state-sponsored terrorism. After Zimbabwe's independence
in 1980, Canada and other Western nations rightly praised Mr. Mugabe for
expanding health and education facilities. But we stayed silent in the mid-1980s
during the brutal repression of the Ndebele people; this caused 20,000 civilian
deaths, and was designed to replace political opposition with a de facto
one-party state. Maintaining the threat of physical force while limiting its
use, Mr. Mugabe gained successive majorities in carefully managed periodic
elections. However, increasing corruption and bad management sharply eroded his
political support in the 1990s. He and the ruling Zanu PF began to be
increasingly challenged by concerned, informed and articulate Zimbabweans, both
black and white. Their determination to protect and promote democratic rights
and practices has been met by violent government retaliation - perpetrated by
the Central Intelligence Organization, a state security body that acts as an
agency of Zanu PF. Newspapers have seen their presses smashed and licences for
the import of newsprint and ink denied. Media have been repeatedly harassed and
arrested, as have political opponents.
In early 2000, despite government attempts to rig the results,
voters rejected a referendum that would have virtually guaranteed Mr. Mugabe the
presidency for life. The gloves came off. In the parliamentary election later
that year, many opposition candidates were prevented from campaigning by
beatings and threats against themselves and their families. Despite such terror
tactics, Zanu PF secured only a slim majority of elected seats; many of the
results were appealed to the courts. The government then forced the resignation
of a number of senior judges, including the Chief Justice, and replaced them
with more compliant judges. Despite all this, the organized opposition - based
among black and white trade union members, large and small-scale commercial
farmers, professionals, academics and businessmen - has continued to grow. Mr.
Mugabe has sought to destroy the credibility of the opposition by portraying its
members as tools of Zimbabwean whites (now barely 0.5 per cent of the
population) and outsiders. Using the legitimate need for redistribution of land
(acknowledged by virtually all Zimbabweans), the government has armed and
encouraged so-called "liberation war veterans" to occupy large-scale commercial
farms, 80 per cent owned by white Zimbabweans (who employed thousands of
labourers, and provided primary schooling and health care). The police decline
to intervene, saying their hands are tied because the issues are political. Not
only have owners been driven from their farms, tens of thousands of farm workers
have been displaced. Officially, 21 black and 9 white Zimbabweans have been
killed but human rights groups cite much higher numbers. Many previously
successful farms are now lying fallow; few of those who occupied them are
engaged even in subsistence agriculture.
The reign of terror, the declining production of cash crops,
the collapse of tourism and disinvestments in mineral production, combined with
the cost of keeping 11,000 Zimbabwean troops in the Congo, has bankrupted
Zimbabwe. It cannot pay for fuel and electricity imports. Massive food imports
are needed in a normally food-exporting country. Current financial support from
Libya cannot compensate for Zimbabwe's lost earnings. Mr. Mugabe's actions have
isolated him from Southern African Development Community (SADC) partners. Though
he told a visiting SADC team this week that presidential elections would be held
in March, they remain (diplomatically) critical of Zimbabwe's mismanagement and
concerned about the destabilizing effects on their own countries. As
presidential elections approach, Mr. Mugabe, 77, is determined to hold on to
power against a much younger challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the
broadly based Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). He knows that in a free
election, this will not be possible. In defiance of recent agreements to
reinstate democratic practices, he has escalated his rhetoric, demonizing the
opposition and media as "agents of terrorism supported by outsiders." Articles
in the government press now publicly attack prominent opposition figures; MDC
offices in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city have been torched. Urban
workers who have lost jobs in the declining economy, largely MDC supporters, are
being returned to rural areas in an attempt to reduce the number of urban
Canada and others countries have failed to respond adequately
to the warning signals emanating from Zimbabwe. Suspension of aid reflects
disengagement, rather than commitment to find solutions. Quiet diplomacy,
through neighbouring countries and the Commonwealth, has failed to bring back
the rule of law. But if international terrorism - or domestic terrorism in the
former Yugoslavia – is unacceptable to us, why do we tolerate it in Zimbabwe? We
must implement measures that would have a direct impact on Mr. Mugabe and his
government; we should employ targeted sanctions - such as travel restrictions
and the freezing of personal foreign accounts - against Zimbabwe's leaders. The
European Union is currently considering such measures. The U.S. Congress has
approved a similar bill. Zimbabwe has long ceased to respect the rule of law or
the rights of its citizens to basic security. It should not escape international
censure for its reign of terror against its own people. Africans and Europeans
are finally speaking out. If we remain silent in the face of overwhelming
evidence of the misuse of power, then we are complicit in its continued abuse.
We reduce our own credibility as proponents of basic human rights and democratic
freedoms. The Commonwealth Ministers meeting on Zimbabwe, to be held in London
next week, provides us with an opportunity to join African and European
countries, and the United States in condemning such abuses. We must reduce the
ability of Mr. Mugabe and his ministers to oppress the Zimbabwean people.
Art Wright, a consultant and lecturer on sustainable development issues, was
Canada's high commissioner to Zimbabwe from 1993 to 1996
POLITICAL VIOLENCE REPORT
NOVEMBER 2001 - December 2001
A report by the
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
Attacks on farm workers residing on invaded farms, ongoing since the end of
February 2000, were reported to the Human Rights Forum in November. Since
January this year, more than 70 000 farm workers have been displaced and
countless others have been beaten and tortured whilst others lost their homes in
Once again the ZRP was been found wanting in its protection and reaction to
violations concerning farm workers and MDC supporters. In one recorded case,
policemen in Kadoma arrived at the local Zanu-PF offices and witnessed the
torture of two MDC members but left without rendering assistance. However 14 MDC
members were arrested for the murder of Bulawayo war veteran’s chairman, Cain
In Harare members of the ZRP unlawfully arrested and tortured two MDC
officials from Zengeza, accusing them of having had some involvement in Cain
Nkala’s murder, despite their being in Harare at the time. The two were released
without being charged having been interrogated about the operations of their
Six deaths were recorded in November. A list of all deaths that have been
reported since January 2001 is given at the end of the report.
November 2001 Totals
Cumulative Totals January-November 2001
Sources: Amani Trust medical assessments, HR Forum legal statements, CFU
reports and newspaper reports.
Notes to Tables: The following categories have been changed and/or
expanded due to the nature and the volume of crimes.
Unlawful Arrest/Detention: Unlawful arrests perpetrated by members of the
police force and unlawful detentions by state agents, members of political
parties and private individuals
Kidnapping/Disappearances: Victims who have been released and those who
are still missing.
Torture: Crimes of torture include rape. Rape is a highly underreported
crime in Zimbabwe. To date, the HR Forum has only been able to document three
cases, all in the month of June. Rape has not been allotted its own category as
the low number would minimize the actual occurrences of rape and not effectively
illustrate the volume of this crime.
All cases under torture also fall under
the definition of torture according to the general definition of torture given
in the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel,
Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment.
The four elements of torture are:
1. Severe pain and suffering, whether
physical or mental
2. Intentionally inflicted
3. With a purpose
4. By a
state official or another acting with the acquiescence of the State.
Displacement/Eviction: At least 70 000 persons have been internally
displaced since January 2001.
· Taurai Chiwetso, an MDC supporter, was beaten for refusing to attend a
Zanu-PF rally in Chiwaridzo. He was said to be in a critical condition and
battling for his life.
2 November 2001
· Two unnamed male MDC supporters were reportedly killed at Kitsiyatota
Squatter Camp following their refusal to attend the funeral of the Zanu-PF youth
chairman for Bindura, Voster Rupiya.
5 November 2001
· M.T’s wife secured employment with Man-Made Security, which turned out to
be owned by Saviour Kasukuwere, Zanu-PF MP for Mt. Darwin, and Dick Mafiosi,
Zanu (PF) District Chair for youth. She was tasked with spying on the MDC for
Zanu-PF but because her husband is an MDC member she refused. However she is now
being hunted down for allegedly passing on sensitive information to the MDC
regarding the security company.
8 November 2001
· Gift Kapfunde and seven other MDC supporters were severely assaulted at
Kuyedza Cocktail Bar in Chiwaridzo. Kapfunde received 11 stitches on his face
and lost two teeth. He was initially taken to Chiwaridzo Clinic and then
transferred to Bindura Hospital. The attack was carried out by war veterans and
Zanu-PF supporters who returned to Bindura after the burial of Cain Nkala and
beat up MDC supporters in apparent retaliation for the murder of Nkala.
30 November 2001
· Farm invaders and war veterans burnt down 42 houses belonging to Asaf
Jazire, Selina Mafuta, Mariyani Tenesi and other unnamed farm workers at
Blackmorevale Farm. Some of the workers were beaten with chains and knobkerries
while others sustained burns and were treated at Kadoma Hospital. The workers
were then ordered to vacate the farm.
The owner of the farm was accused of
supporting the MDC and aiding gold panners in the area.
Chiredzi South / North
11 November 2001
· Johannes Felix Sikele, a resettled farmer, was shot and killed at Fair
Range Estate by farm guard, Robert Nganduni. Nganduni was patrolling the area of
the farm occupied by the resettled farmers when they challenged him. Sikele and
Nganduni were involved in a struggle for the latter's gun during which he was
shot at close range in the chest.
· Ellifanos Chamunorwa was tortured by being beaten under his feet
(falanga) at a Zanu-PF base in Gokwe.
19 November 2001
· Kufa Rukara was abducted at Mrora Growth Point in Gokwe and tortured on
14 October 2001. He was admitted to Gweru Hospital for treatment. Rukara had
sustained a severe head injury that could not be treated and a broken right
tibia. His condition deteriorated until he was unable to sit or talk. Rukara
died on November 19 2001of his injuries.
· The homes of Roger Mwinga and Ian Musanduka, both members of the MDC,
were burnt down in Mushumbi Pools. Joseph Zambezi led the attack together with
other unnamed Zanu-PF supporters.
· Zanu-PF supporters, on allegations that the villagers sympathised with
the MDC, displaced Peter Chafesuka, Cliff Chirowapasi, Robson Mwarawara and
other unnamed villagers in Ward 22 from their homes.
· There were numerous cases of torture recorded in Guruve in November,
particularly in Mushumbi Pools where war veterans and Zanu-PF members in Dande
tortured Wilson Karikoga, Manikidzo Kopakopa and Nyambari Mahamba and other MDC
supporters. The following are first had statements given by the victims:
11 November 2001
· We were notified that war vets wanted us at Chitepo Base. We had to go
there as we had been assaulted regularly previously. We went to the war veteran
chairman’s homestead, Joseph Masauki. Zanu-PF militia in t-shirts with Mugabe’s
face on them escorted us. Masauki then took us to Dande River where their base
is located. Masauki then began to catalogue our ‘crimes’ as MDC members though
they were otherwise lawful activities. Masauki and another war veteran called
Emmanuel Kamukiyana and Bibby and Zuze then ordered us into an ant-bear’s hole.
We were then ordered to yap and bark like dogs and come out with a kill. After
being ordered out our legs were tied up in ropes, our t-shirts removed and our
trousers lowered. We were asked to lie prone and then assaulted on the buttocks
with thick poles, slapped on the face and kicked with booted feet. This
continued for about 2 hours. We were then ordered to roll in hot sand then tied
up and further beaten. After that, buffalo thorns were smeared all over our
bodies. The process was repeated in which we were told to roll around in hot
sand. We were dizzy after that but were beaten up when we fell down. This lasted
for about 5 hours. They made us grind our teeth and swallow sand. We were
released around 4pm.
We failed to seek medical treatment because if you are treated at any
hospital beaten once, this is known and the police refuse to supply referral
We did not report to the police as they are in cahoots with the war
veterans, especially Inspector Musukwa.
· I live at Nyakatondo village near Mushumbi Pools in the Dande Communal
Land of Guruve North. On 11th November 2001 I was assaulted by Nyande Mausauki,
Desmond Gomo, Joseph Musauki, and Emmanuel Kumukiyani (Dombo). They assaulted me
for about six hours using wooden logs, fists and huriri (buffalo bean) and
rolling me in the hot sand of the riverbed. This is the worst treatment I
encountered in my life. My clothes were dipped in water with huriri and I was
forced to wear them and instructed not to wash them for some time. They said I
must not remove those clothes. To survive that torture I am no longer moving
from my home. The assault has created difficulties for me when moving. I have
a swollen elbow and wrist and suspect they are broken. I am not safe and also
fear that they might come again to attack me one day or night. I could not
report the incident to the police as we know they will do nothing. PISI
Constable Tarwira was there all of that day. The Member in Charge, Inspector
Musukwa, has said he cannot help MDC supporters. He is a war veteran and ZANU
supporter. MDC supporters who are assaulted cannot get help from the clinic so
we have to suffer by ourselves.
· I live at Nyakatondo village near Mushumbi Pools in the Dande Communal
Land of Guruve North. On 11th November 2001 Mahamba Munyambari came through my
home and told me that we were wanted at a ZANU PF youth training point. We
quickly took off to the point. Whilst we were there, Koshiwe Jonasi told me and
the others, Ephraim Gatsi and Manikidzo Munyambari, that we were supposed to
proceed to Kabvuma or Chitepo village to meet with ex-combatants.
I went to Chitepo village. Trouble started when I got there. I was called by
Pius Musauki. He started questioning me why I had joined MDC. Also he said
that on the run up to the parliamentary election we had created a headache for
ZANU PF that led to the Star Rally being addressed by President Robert Mugabe.
From there he started beating me using a wooden log. As the tension grew, he
demanded that I start some military drills and rolling on the hot sand of the
riverbed. After that, he rubbed a hot material huriri (buffalo bean) against my
body. This torture carried on for about 6 hours and included beatings, putting
my head in a hole and barking like a dog and lying on the hot sand.
sever torture came when Pius Musauki, with the help of Emmanuel Kumukiyani
(Dombo), Nyande Musauki and Bibi Mudzongachiso, forced me down onto the ground.
They forced back my foreskin and anus and sprinkled the hot material huriri in.
I nearly died out of the pain and thirst as they said my existence is equal to
Satan. I cried for their mercy but they left me unattended for almost 30 to 40
minutes. Lastly my clothes were mixed with the huriri and I was forced to wear
them home. Until now I am in great pain. May I be rescued from here? I have not
reported to the police in Mushumbi as the Member in Charge is a war veteran and
known ZANU PF supporter. PISI Constable Tarwira was there at the beginning of
the incident but when he saw what was to happen he quickly left and obviously
did not report the matter to his superiors as nothing was done to try to stop
We did not report to the police, as the Member in Charge is a war veteran
and known ZANU PF supporter.
· I live at Nyakadondo village near Mushumbi Pools in
the Dande Communal Land of Guruve North. On 11th November 2001 I was called to a
Zanu (PF) Youth Training centre at the old Neshangwe Primary School. Koshiwe
Jonasi the Zanu (PF) Youth Chairman.
was conducting the meeting. Whilst
there I was surprised when my name was called out and I had to stand out in
front of the other youth with Manikidzo Kopakopa, W.K, E.K, P.N and H.C. Koshiwe
Jonasi told us that the war veterans at Chitepo village in Ward 9 wanted us. We
walked all the way to the village. To my astonishment we were called to a place
in the bush near the Dande River. Joseph Musauki, a war vet leader and ZANU PF
commissariat secretary, called me to come closer to him. He clapped me and then
started to strongly assault me with a wooden log. I was forced to lie flat on
the riverbed on the
hot sand. He assaulted me with that log countless
times. He then handed me over to Emmanuel Kirmukiyani (Dombo), Desmond Gomo,
Nyande Musauki and Pius Musauki, who tied me up hand and foot and carried on
assaulting me for six hours. The assault was by beating, making me roll in the
hot sand for more than 150 metres, lying on the hot sand without moving, putting
my head in a hole and barking like a dog and doing military drills.
this time Dombo brought huriri, a very hot plant powder, (buffalo bean) and
spread it around my body from time to time. During this time they left me in the
hot sun for almost three hours without drinking water. I felt that I was
dying. Finally I was offered a cup of water which I could not finish as they
hit it down after I took two sips. They left me and told me to go and rest
under a tree after they notice that I was momentarily loosing my
Lastly Dombo opened the foreskin of my penis and brushed the huriri
against my penis. With the help of Desmond Gomo, Nyande Musauki and Pius
Musauki, he opened my buttocks and dropped this hot stuff inside. While I was
in agony with this huriri they then beat me with eighteen cuts. I was then told
to go home after they had mixed the huriri into my clothes. I was forced to
wear those clothes. As I am speaking my penis has some paining cracks and my
anus is developing a wound. I am definitely desperate. They have said they
want to set an example on me to show that ZANU can kill. This victimization is a
plot by ZANU PF to silence opposition members. And mainly their agenda on me is
to make sure that I feel intimidated to the bone. I am the shadow councillor
for MDC in Ward 9. They definitely know that if I am allowed to campaign ZANU
PF would never stand a chance. I could not report to the police in Mushumbi
Pools. The Member in Charge, Inspector Musukwa, has vowed not to help MDC
supporters as he is a war veteran.
· I live at Nyakatondo village near Mushumbi Pools in the Dande Communal
Land of Guruve North. On the 26th September 2001 ZANU PF youths came to my house
and broke three windowpanes. They then took a 14lb hammer and broke down my
door and looted some household goods. I reported this to the police but the
member in charge said that the people must discuss this on their own because MDC
is not yet ruling. A neighbouring youth, Tapfuma Mabhutsu, was assaulted at the
On 11th November 2001 Kowishe Jonasi came to my house with about
50 ZANU PF youths to take me to the ex-combatants. I was sick and they said
they would come back for me on Saturday (17th November 2001). I heard what they
had done to the other MDC supporters that day and sold my cottonseed and fled my
home. I came with some of the victims who needed to go to hospital. They gave
their statements to the police but they refused for the police to open a docket
for court because they feared to be assaulted and they were told that if at all
reports are made ZANU PF would come and destroy their houses. At this present
time I am afraid to go back to my home because I was given a warning. They want
to kill me. I could not report to the police in Mushumbi Pools. The Member in
Charge, Inspector Musukwa, has vowed not to help MDC supporters, as he is a war
· I live at Jurujena village near Mushumbi Pools in the Dande Communal Land
of Guruve North. On 11th November 2001 Joseph Musauki and another war veteran
Karomo called me. I was told that I had failed to give them information about
MDC, so if I had cottonseed it was advisable to sell it. This implies I had
failed to give them grenades and pistols that they think we were given. This is
very untrue, as we have no weapons at all; I cannot give them things we do not
have. On 12th November 2001 they wrote a letter to five MDC members who are
myself, Elisha Mupinyuri, Ian Musandauka, Elias Mupinyuri and Tosa Gondo telling
us to go to them. We did not go there. During the night of 13th November 2001
at about 10:15 pm about 10 people arrived at my house looking for me. I was
away at a church service. They told my wife that I was supposed to go to Ward 9
or they were to come back for me. I had heard about the torture taking place at
Ward 9 so I decided to leave my home for safety as they wanted to torture me for
things I do not know.
A lawyer for the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum had
obtained a peace against these people but they are continuing their hostilities
against me and the police know this but do nothing.
16 November 2001
· An unnamed farm pastor, his wife and the senior foreman at Marira Mbada
Farm in Horseshoe were assaulted after they failed to produce Zanu-PF cards and
were therefore accused of being MDC supporters.
13 November 2001
· C.C was on his way to church in Hatcliffe Extension on a commuter omnibus
and was carrying an MDC leaflet. Because of this he was abducted by the war vets
and taken to their office in Hatcliffe extension. He was accused of being the
main operator in the area for the MDC. He was assaulted with fists as they tried
to extract information from him about the district. C.C was also assaulted in
the abdomen, back and testicles.
11 November 2001
· Learnmore Jongwe (MP Kuwadzana, MDC), Hilda Mufudze, Tendai Nyamushana
together with unnamed MDC members were held hostage for four hours at the MDC
offices at Harvest House by war veterans led by Joseph Chinotimba. The war
veterans barricaded the entrance to Harvest House and detained the victims from
9:30am until 1:30pm. They said they were searching for Cain Nkala, abducted in
Bulawayo the previous week. The group also assaulted security guards at the
· Unnamed farm workers and Ndiripo Farm in Tengwe had 26 huts and 2 brick
buildings burnt down by farm invaders.
12 November 2001
· Maxwell Bidi, the MDC chairman for Hurungwe West was abducted by war
veterans from Karoi bus terminus, taken to the Zanu-PF offices and assaulted
with logs, empty beer bottles and iron bars. His legs were then bound in wire
and he was tied to roof trusses and beaten further. Bidi sustained bruises and
cuts all over his body. One of the perpetrators was identified as John Dungiro.
Below are excerpts from Bidi’s testimony
“ I was abducted at about 3pm by 14 war veterans and
I was on my way to Chinhoyi from my home area Magunje.
When I disembarked in Karoi, waiting for a bus that would take me straight to
Chinhoyi, I saw Cliff Sabadza at one of the call boxes and went to speak to him.
I saw 2 Zanu-PF guys crossing towards the Zanu-PF offices. I did not suspect
anything at the time.
When the pioneer bus was about to leave, I said bye to Cliff Sabadza but at
the moment I started running to catch the bus, I heard a lot of noise behind me
and people shouting at me to run. I saw a group of Zanu-PF youth surrounding me
and they started to beat me. I failed to get into the bus, which drove away. I
asked them why they were beating me and they said it was because I was the very
person they had been hunting for for a long time. I was grabbed by the neck and
was kicked by the group. I shouted for help but the crowd just watched in fear
and some ran for their lives.
They dragged me to their office, which was 50 metres away from the bus
terminus. They ran into the office shouting, “kill him, kill him". In the office
I was beaten with stones, chains, baton sticks and beer bottles.
unconscious for some minutes and when I woke up the youths were pouring water
over me with plates and there was blood everywhere. I saw Gift Sabadza, who was
also bloody. I do not know how they got him. I begged them to release him and
keep me instead because I was almost dead anyway. They released him and dragged
me onto a table. One of the war vets took out his knife and cut my trousers into
pieces until I was left naked. He pulled out some rubber band and started
hitting my private parts with them. Then the other two war veterans started
beating me again. By that time their boss, war veterans chairman John Dungiiro
had walked in. He told me to stand up and clapped me with his left hand and I
fell down. He kicked me and beat me then placed one foot on my head and the
other on my neck. I know Dungiro, we are related, but he holds a grudge against
me because I am an MDC supporter.
I was already badly wounded when the war veterans started beating me again.
They were asking, “Who is Morgan? What is the MDC, What is chinja (change)?"
Then they said, “chinja tione!" (‘let’s see you change then’). One of them
ordered the youths to tie my legs and hands and hang me from the roof. It was
getting dark and it was after 5pm when I heard people saying that the police had
arrived. The policemen came and talked to Dungiro and the other war veterans
outside. I saw the policemen peep through the window and they saw me hanging
there. When our eyes met I thought I was going to be rescued but then I heard
them being ordered not to interfere with politics. The policemen were told to
come back tomorrow and they left. I was then asked about the whereabouts of Cain
Nkala, where MDC gets its money from and which farmers support the MDC. At that
stage I was no longer able to talk so they gave me a pen and paper to write the
information down on but I was no longer able to do that either. As a consequence
I was told I would be dead by 2 o’clock.
They started operating in shifts, some beating me and others drinking beer.
At about 12 o’clock a new gang of four came in. They asked me if I had been told
I was going to die before 2 o’clock. I did not answer them. One of them brought
a coffin beside me and told me that I only had 10 minutes left. When they went
out of the room for a discussion I managed to untie my hands and escaped through
the window. I took cover in a 3 metre trench that surrounds the office. From
there I crawled into an office that is still being built.
I saw the youth
running around looking for me and accusing each other of leaving the window
unattended. At about 3 o’clock I started crawling to Simon Mudzingwa’s house. It
is about 1km from the bus terminus. When I got there his wife pulled me into the
house. She cleaned my wounds and gave me some clean clothes to wear. At about 4
o’clock they hired a taxi to ferry me to Chinhoyi.
I went to Chamagamba Police Station to make a report and they said they
would write a letter to the Karoi police to action the case. I was given a
referral to the Hospital. Mr Karemba from Chinhoyi phoned the Amani Trust and
asked them to assist me. I was referred to a private hospital. I am still
receiving treatment. Items taken from me during the abduction were my ID,
passport, drivers licence, party cards, party programmes and $5 000 in
· I was at the bus terminus in Chikangwe having a chat with the MDC
chairman for Hurungwe West, Maxwell Bidi. I went to the phone to make a call and
while I was doing this I heard commotion behind me and turned to see Bidi being
beaten. I turned to run and was hit several times on the head with a bottle.
They took both of us to the Zanu-PF offices. They then beat us up from 2 to 5pm.
They accused us of selling our country. They beat us more when we protested
and beat us using bricks, bottles and hands. Then I was let go. During the
beatings by these Zanu-PF youths and war veterans the police came by and left
without helping us.
I escaped to Chinhoyi where I made a report to the police
who verbally abused me before referring me to the hospital. At the hospital I
did not get any help. I was told that they did not have drugs and equipment. The
same people that beat me threatened to burn my house in Mukorori Village,
23 November 2001
· K.S was approached by Zanu-PF youths who demanded a party card from him.
He did not have one and was forced to lie down on his back and was assaulted 4
times with a big log. K.S sustained lacerations on his back.
28 November 2001
· Emmanuel Mutemi of Zanu-PF was abducted from Westview Lodges in Kadoma.
He was then assaulted by MDC supporters, Evans Ruzvidzo, Celestio Gumireshe,
Picket Mafuta, Butane Mazvidzwa, Fanwell Solomon, Taurayi Chishaya, Tinashe
Kudemba, Tawanda Madevuko, Shepherd Banda, Kizito Mhike, Anthony Damani and
Charles Mclaine. He sustained a swollen face and bodily injuries and was treated
at Kadoma General Hospital.
The alleged perpetrators were charged with
kidnapping, public violence and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily
harm and remanded in custody to 11 December. War veterans, Zanu-PF supporters
and MDC supporters clashed in Kadoma on 28 November and during this clash an MDC
youth was allegedly kidnapped. The MDC youths are said to have retaliated by
· War veterans and Zanu-PF supporters assaulted five unnamed teachers at
Nyamatsane Primary School in Sanyati with sticks when they failed to produce
Zanu-PF party cards and chant party slogans. A report was made to Sanyati Arda
Police post but no action was taken. One of the teachers assaulted is pregnant
and almost miscarried due to the assault.
14 November 2001
· Frank Mhondiwa, Rodzani Nyoni, Amos Chamunorwa and Jack Kapoka, MDC
supporters from Rimuka, were abducted and assaulted by war veterans lead by
Ducam Pembedza. They were admitted to Kadoma General Hospital for treatment and
their condition upon admission was described as critical. Several houses in
Kadoma belonging to MDC officials were stoned by the group that abducted
Mhondiwa, Nyoni, Chamunorwa and Kapoka. The militia is based at the Zanu-PF
district offices in Rimuka, about 100m away from the police station.
5 November 2001
· Local war veterans leader Cain Nkala was abducted from his Magwegwe home
by 10 men that arrived in a truck at about 11:30pm and were armed with
Kalashnikov assault rifles. The abductors struck Nkala's wife, Sikhumbizo, on
the head with a rifle butt before taking off with Nkala. He was assaulted and
then strangled to death. Nkala was buried in a shallow grave 50km along the
Khami Road towards Solusi University. His body was found and exhumed on November
13 2001. The following MDC members have since been arrested and charged with the
murder: Simon Spooner, Thembi Mkandla, Gilbert Moyo, Remember Moyo, Stanley
Dile, Sahkile Ncube, Sazini Mpofu, Khetani Augustine Sibanda, Silas Sibanda,
Ferdinand Dropa, Alexander Khanye, Eddy Sigoga, Army/Ronnie Zulu, Sonny Masera
Moyo, Sithabiso Mangala; Fletcher Dulini-Ncube (MDC MP, Lobengula
Dile, Sigoga, Khanye, Dropa and Mangala had their charge later changed from
that of murder to one of contravening the Law and Order (Maintenance) Act by
receiving military training and were remanded in custody to December 4.
14 November 2001
· An unnamed MDC supporter had his 8-room house in Magwegwe petrol bombed
and burnt down by war veterans and Zanu-PF supporters. The attack was in
apparent retaliation for the murder of Cain Nkala.
· An unnamed man in Lupane was beaten and sustained a head injury. Four
Zanu-PF supporters also burnt down his home. The victim was attacked in violence
that erupted following the murder of Limukani Luphahla in October.
16 November 2001
· The MDC party offices on Herbert Chitepo Street, Bulawayo, were petrol
bombed and burnt down by a mob of approximately 500 Zanu-PF supporters and war
The mob proceeded through the streets of Bulawayo on a
demonstration over the murder of Cain Nkala.
· An unnamed man over 70 years of age was assaulted, kicked and punched to
the ground by a mob of Zanu-PF supporters and war veterans. The group, who were
on a demonstration in the Bulawayo city centre, randomly attacked people as a
protest over Nkala’s death.
· A private college, Zdeco, belonging to Sikhanyiso Ndlovu of Zanu (PF) was
burnt down by approximately 2000 MDC supporters in retaliation for burning down
their party office building.
· An unnamed driver and photographer for the Chronicle Newspaper had their
vehicle burnt by MDC supporters and were assaulted during clashes in the
Bulawayo city centre between war veterans, Zanu-PF supporters and MDC
18 November 2001
· Mduduzi Mathuthu, a reporter for the Daily News, and Grey Chitiga, a
photographer with the same paper, were arrested and detained at Esigodini and
Figtree prisons respectively for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping and
torture of Ndabazinhle Moyo. The two were released without charges being
preferred against them.
November 7 2001
· Tendai Peturo, Takudzwa Chikasha who is Peturo's son (aged 5) and more
than twenty-five unnamed farm workers from Mushangwe, Eirene, Angus and Safari
Farms were severely assaulted for 'siding with their masters’. Chikasha
sustained bruises on his face plus a swollen mouth. The assailants were wielding
sticks, knobkerries, chains and stones.
· Nyarugumi Kamburuwa, a farm worker at Mushangwe Farm, was beaten all over
his back with chains by war veterans and Zanu-PF supporters.
· War veterans
and Zanu-PF supporters beat Moses Nyandoro, a farm worker at Munemo Farm, with a
hoe handle. $2 300 stolen was stolen from him during the same incident.
· Farm invaders in the Ruzawi River Valley severely assaulted a
three-year-old child. The child sustained bruises and cuts on face. The invaders
also assaulted farm workers in the Ruzawi River Valley and destroyed the workers
houses in an attempt to get them to vacate their farm.
The following events, affecting farm workers, took place at Munemo Farm on
· Farm invaders came to N.K’s home, kicked the door in and assaulted him
· Four farm invaders came to A.W’s house, kicked the door in and assaulted
him with sticks. They also stole $1 600, a handbag and pens.
· Seven farm invaders came to E.N’s house and kicked the door in. They
went to her bed and assaulted her with wire and sticks.
· Nine farm invaders came to M.N’s house and beat him with sticks. Six of
them took his wife and went off with her.
· Farm invaders came to P.G’s house and broke his door down. He went out of
his house to see what was happening and beating him with a stick.
· Four farm invaders came to E.T’s house and broke the door down. They went
to her bed and beat her. They also stole $8 000 and 2 blankets.
· Five farm invaders broke the door down at P.N.’s house then beat her with
· Farm invaders broke into C.M’s house after by kicking the door in. They
beat him with sticks and a chain.
· Farm invaders kicked the door of E. B’s house open and beat her with
· Two farm invaders came to B. Y’s house, kicked the door open and beat him
with thick sticks.
· Farm invaders broke the door to S.I’s house down and beat him while he
still lay on his bed.
· Farm invaders broke the down the door and window of A. C’s house and then
beat her with logs.
· Farm invaders broke into A.Y’s house through the window and entered the
bedroom. They beat her before she escaped through the window. The invaders also
stole $5 000 from her.
11 November 2001
· Kudzanai Mashumba, the MDC provincial administrator for Mashonaland East,
had his car burned by Zanu-PF supporters in Cherutombo.
29 November 2001
· G.C was attacked by a group of about 20 Zanu-PF supporters. He was
accused of having committed an offence by being an MDC supporter. He is a well
known MDC activist. G.C was struck on the head with a brick and an iron bar. He
sustained multiple injuries including head injuries. $8 000 was stolen in the
10 November 2001
· M.M was in the company of Ravengai Sikhucha and witnessed his murder. A
war veteran, the MIC at Mataga Police Station, a CIO agent identified as Walter,
one Mudzingwa and another police officer only identified as Chris, approached
the two. They were accused of having committed an offence because they were
alleged to have distributed material for the MDC. M.M managed to escape unhurt
but Sikhucha was assaulted with booted feet, clenched fists, open hands and
baton sticks. He was then forced into a Nissan diesel truck and the group drove
off with him. He was later found dead. Police who allege that the deceased
simply fell off the back of a truck have ignored the murder report.
· Members of the army and police force moved into section 7 of Slovery
Conservancy and attempted to evict squatters settled there. Those that refused
to leave were assaulted.
11 November 2001
· Alan Bradley, a commercial farmer, was shot at close range through the
shoulder and into the chest at Royal Visit Farm and seriously injured. The
farmer, his wife and their two children were returning home when they came
across a log barricade on the farm road. The farmer, who was the passenger, got
out of the car to ask for the barricade to be removed. When he was met with a
hostile response, he got back into the vehicle, but was shot through the
shoulder into the chest. It is not clear what type of weapons were used. The
motive for the shooting is also not clear, but the farm is occupied and it is
known that there is friction between the settlers, senior war vets and the
farmer as the former insist that the farmer should not be permitted to continue
production. The police arrested one suspect, William Nyawire.
14 November 2001
· Unnamed farm workers from Springdale, Craiglea and Mug Farms in Macheke
were all evicted from their homes by farm invaders. The ZRP was called in but
failed to resolve the matter.
· Unnamed farm workers at Nyagadzi Farm in Macheke had their huts burnt
down by farm invaders.
04 November 2001
· P.C is the Zanu-PF district chairman. He attended a meeting at Chisambiro
Township. he was accused of having defected to the MDC and that his sons were in
possession of MDC regalia. He denied this but was made to lie down and was
beaten with sticks on his buttocks. One of the perpetrators was identified as
· E.M is the Zanu-PF district chairwoman. She attended a meeting at
Chisambiro Township where she was accused of having defected to the MDC and
that her sons were in possession of MDC regalia. She denied this but was made to
lie down and was severely assaulted.
10 November 2001
· Z.C’s husband was assaulted by war veterans for belonging to the MDC. He
was assaulted in front of policemen in Mutimbanyoka Village, Chief Chimoyo but
they took no action. The war veterans further alleged that they had cell phones
and guns that they should relinquish. They asked Z.C why she had a beautiful
home that they could not afford on their war vet gratuities and said that they
therefore were funded by the MDC. The war vets then left and said they were
coming back to beat Z.C. She fled soon afterwards.
1 November 2001
· At around 18 00 hrs I.C was coming from a funeral in Chief Chimoyo when
he heard a passer-by saying that he and his colleagues were supposed to attend a
Zanu-PF rally at Chisambiro Business Centre. After supper they went to the rally
where people were being told to surrender all their MDC belongings. At about
2200hrs another group of Zanu-PF supporters joined the rally. They announced
that they had captured MDC supporters where they were coming from. One of them
approached I.C and told him that his name was on the war vets list. I.C. decided
to hand over his MDC card but as he did he was told to lie down and was beaten
on his buttocks several times with a stick. The detainees were released at about
0200hrs the following day.
· At around 18 00 hrs D.C was coming from a funeral in Chief Chimoyo. He
heard a passer-by saying that he and his colleagues were supposed to attend a
Zanu-PF rally at Chisambiro Business Centre. After supper they went to the rally
where people were being told to surrender all their MDC belongings. At about
2200hrs another group of Zanu-PF supporters joined the rally. They announced
that they had captured MDC supporters where they were coming from. One of them
approached D.C and told him that his name was on the war veterans’ list. He
decided to hand over his MDC card but as he did he was told to lie down and was
beaten on the buttocks several times with a stick.
10 November 2001
· I.C met war veterans Steven Tambudze, Christopher Hodzi, Kambanje, Lewis
Bhiri, Regis Matambo, Samanyanga, and Collen Bhiri at Chisambiro Business
Centre. They beat him and accused him of having guns, communicating radios and
holding sewing machines that were given to him by the MDC. He was beaten on the
buttocks with logs several times. I.C was released at about 1900hrs on the same
14 November 2001
· Peter Mangena, the MDC councillor for Ward 27, had the doors and windows
of his house smashed with boulders and logs by suspected war veterans and
Zanu-PF supporters. Mangena fled his home and went into hiding following the
attack. The attack was in yet another apparent retaliation to the murder of Cain
Nkala by suspected MDC supporters
14 November 2001
· Davis Mtetwa, Steven Chasara and other MDC supporters were assaulted and
abducted by police officers in plain clothes. They were taken to Highlands
police station and then transferred later to Harare Central Police Station. They
were severely beaten with batons and tortured at both police stations. Chasara
received seven stitches for a gaping wound on his leg and was treated at
Chitungwiza General Hospital. The two were accused of having taken part in the
abduction and subsequent murder of Cain Nkala. Below is the full testimony of
“About 7 men arrived at my home and introduced themselves as police
officers. They asked us to open up, myself and Chasara. The men had obviously
climbed over the gate and were not in uniform. One of them identified himself to
Chasara and produced an ID. They asked us to open the doors and the thoroughly
searched our house - every nook and cranny was searched. All MDC membership
cards, campaign material, files etc were confiscated as well as about 40 party
constitutions. We were then asked to carry all the material outside to a blue
323 and a white Nissan Sunny parked outside. At no point did these officers
produce a warrant or tell us that we were under arrest. We were force marched to
the car and taken to Highlands Police Station. They gave us pieces of paper and
told us to write our autobiographies. I wrote less than half a page and was told
that that was not enough. All along these officers were liasing with police
personnel at Highlands Police Station.
They accused us of not being comprehensive enough and began interrogating
us. We were asked why we had joined the MDC and where our party portfolios,
families and relatives were. They even retrieved the numbers from my phone and
asked for my pin number. They questioned us about the operations of our party,
who and how many whites provided the party in our province with money. In the
mean time Chasara was in custody at Highlands Police Station.
When I indicated that no white person I knew had given us money, they began
beating me and alleged that I knew that the MDC was sponsored by whites. They
used a sjambok made of hippopotamus skin to hit me on the head. After that they
handed me over to the custody of a police officer at the reception. The ordeal
had lasted about 5 hours. After they had interrogated Chasara they took us to
Harare Central Police Station. They had bought sadza at Rhodesville and one of
them offered me sadza, I had no appetite and I refused.
At Harare Central they took us to the CIO offices in the basement. they
then indicated that the time they had been waiting for had arrived. They said
they now wanted us to tell them the truth and stop messing around. They also
indicated that there was a way of us being implicated in the murder of Cain
Nkala. Chasara was then taken out. I told them that I didn’t know anything about
the murder of Nkala. They severely tortured me, beating me with a sjambok
underneath the feet. They rotated the administration of the beatings among
themselves. In the meantime they were saying “munhu ngashandwe”.
I lost all power to cry out. They further inquired as to how much was in
the provincial account. They asked about vehicles that were allegedly bought by
a certain Puzzey for the MDC as well as what farmers had offered the MDC money.
This lasted from about 3pm till 11pm.
After that Chasara was called in and I
was taken into another room. I was asked to salute a picture of Mugabe on the
wall as well as toyi-toyi and chant Zanu-PF slogans. After the beatings, both of
us were taken together under guard and they indicated that they would then brief
their boss upstairs.
Chasara was then released on the same day having sustained severe injuries.
I was taken to Matapi Police Station where I was put in a cell with seven other
inmates. We were denied drinking water. Four of them came for me at around 9 am
. They took me to a Nissan sunny and blindfolded me and asked me to lie down.
They took me to a room in an area I couldn’t identify.
I was interrogated
further on the same issues as before and then I was asked who I would vote for
between Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube. They also asked me what I thought about
Masundire’s leadership in the province and what role I had played in his
suspension, i.e., what information I had given to the commission of inquiry into
the factionalism that took place. I was also asked who we would make the MDC
mayoral candidate and among the member of the police and army, who supported the
MDC. I was further beaten with a sjambok.
At around 2pm, they went through the files they had seized and questioned
me about each piece of correspondence. I was further slapped, knocked about and
booted. They threatened me saying that I could disappear and that I was lucky to
be going back in one piece. In the evening, I was blindfolded and taken back to
the officer in charge, Law and Order section, who asked me to write statement
regarding the death of Nkala. He took my fingerprints and then asked me to sign
the statement. I was refused the services of a lawyer.
Before I was released the CIO officers involved said that I should not talk
to the press and that I should take that seriously. They said my wife would be
in trouble if I talked to the press.
I was taken home in a white defender and
passed by the officer-in-charge at Morris Depot before proceeding home. I went
to the Avenues Clinic but left as soon as my case had been reported. I am scared
for my life. I have stopped going to work. They said that if I wanted to go back
to work I should be prepared to campaign for Zanu-PF.
· The farm manager of Mede Farm in Nyabira was abducted by farm invaders.
It has been ascertained that the manager is still alive. The Nyabira police
initially would not react and then did not answer their phone. Eventually a
vehicle was then sent to Nyabira to collect the ZRP. It is unclear whether the
farm manager has since been released.
Full alphabetical list of reported deaths related to political
violence January to November 2001
Name, (Political Affiliation), Date of Death, Province, Constituency
1. CHIHUMBIRI, Eswat (Zanu (PF), 23 March 2001, Mashonaland Central,
2. CHIKWENYA, Richard Dzokurasa (MDC), I May 2001, Manicaland,
3. CHIRIMA, Robson Tinarwo (MDC), March 2001, Mashonaland
4. COBBET, Robert Fenwick (commercial farmer), 6 August
2001, Midlands, Kwekwe
5. DUMUKANI, Zondani, (farmworker) 9 June 2001,
Harare, Mbare East
6. GWENZI, Gilson (MDC), 27 July 2001 (assaulted in
June), Mashonaland Central, Mwenezi
7. KANOMERA, John (MDC), 3 July 2001,
Harare, Hatfield (Epworth)
8. LUPHAHLA, Limukani, (Zanu-PF), 29 October 2001,
Matabeleland North, Lupane
9. MADZVIMBO, Fanuel, (resettled farmer), 16
September 2001, Mashonaland East, Hwedza
10. MANYAME, Ropafadzo, (MDC), 16
January 2001, Masvingo, Bikita West
11. MAPENZAUSWA, Phibion (resettled
farmer), 14 July 2001, Manicaland, Mutare West
12. MATARUSE, Peter (MDC),
March 2001, Mashonaland Central, Muzarabani
13. MATEMA, Hilary (MDC), 15
October 2001, Mashonaland Central, Guruve South
14. MAZAVA, Felix, (MDC), 11
September 2001, Mashonaland East, Chikomba
15. MUKWELI, Vusimuzi, (MDC), 9
September 2001, Midlands, Gokwe South
16. MUNANDISHE, Peter, ( MDC), 22 July
2001, Mashonaland Central, Bindura
17. MUPESA, Ndonga (MDC), 30 March 2001,
Mashonaland Central, Muzarabani
18. MWANZA, Miseck (MDC), 4 May 2001,
Mashonaland West, Zvimba North
19. NKALA, Cain, (ZNLWVA), 5 November 2001,
20. NYAMADZAWO, Alexio, (resettled farmer) 15
September 2001, Mashonaland East, Hwedza
21. NYATHI, Mbuso, (ZNLWVA), 27
September 2001, Matabeleland North, Nkayi
22. NYIKA, James (MDC), 3 July
2001, Harare, Hatfield (Epworth)
23. OLDS, Gloria, (commercial farmer), 04
March 2001, Matabeleland North, Bubi-Umguza.
24. RUKARA, Kufa, (MDC), 19
November 2001, Midlands, Silobela
25. SIKELE, Johannes/Felix, (resettled
farmer), 11 November 2001, Masvingo, Chiredzi South
26. SIKHUCHA, Ravengai,
(MDC), 10 November 2001, Midlands, Mberengwa East
27. ZIWENI, Osbon, (MDC) 18
September 2001, Masvingo, Bikita West
28. Unnamed (MDC), April 2001,
Mashonaland Central, Shamva
29. Unnamed (2) (MDC supporters), May 2001,
Mashonaland Central, Mount Darwin South
30. Unnamed (2) (war veterans) 3 July
2001, Harare, (Hatfield) Epworth
31. Unnamed (2) (MDC supporters) 3 July
2001, Harare, (Hatfield) Epworth
32. Unnamed (2) (Zanu-PF), 11 September
2001, Mashonaland East, Seke
33. Unnamed (MDC), 6 September 2001, Bulawayo,
34. Unnamed (farm worker), 15 September 2001, Mashonaland East,
35. Unnamed (game scout), 05 October 2001, Masvingo, Bikita
36. Unnamed (2) (MDC supporters) 2 November 2001, Mashonaland Central,
Total of 41 deaths
The MDC is contesting the outcome of last June’s parliamentary elections in
many constituencies that resulted in the victory of the ZANU (PF) candidate. The
MDC has filed 41 cases from constituencies across Zimbabwe. ZANU (PF) is
likewise contesting the election result in only one constituency where the MDC
won a parliamentary seat. Trials began 12 February 2001.
Human rights abuses
have been reported in all cases that have appeared before the High Court. Some
of the victims seen by the HRLU (Human Rights Legal Unit) during March 2001 were
victims of political violence that occurred when they returned home after
testifying in the election challenges. The violence, which has mainly implicated
ZANU (PF) supporters, but has also implicated some MDC supporters, is being used
as a tool to intimidate people who had testified at the High Court. The
intimidation continues to instil such fear that witnesses consider not
testifying and in some cases have to be subpoenaed.
Many victims were
forced from their homes because of an extreme fear of victimization and repeated
intimidation. Victims are often forced to look for alternative housing and many
are forced to live with family or friends elsewhere in the country. Most
victims report beatings as the main form of torture.
Some victims seen by
the HRLU were victims of other political violence, torture and ongoing
intimidation in several constituencies.
Political violence has been
reported in the following constituencies: Beitbridge, Bikita West, Bindura,
Bubi-Umguza, Buhera, Bulawayo, Bulilima-Mangwe, Chegutu, Chikomba, Chimanimani,
Chinhoyi, Chipinge North, Chiredzi, Gokwe, Goromonzi, Gweru, Harare, Hurungwe
West, Hwange, Hwedza, Kariba, Karoi, Kwekwe, Mabvuku, Makonde, Makoni East,
Makoni West, Marondera, Masvingo North, Matabeleland South, Matobo, Mazowe West,
Mberengwe East, Mount Darwin, Murehwa, Mutare, Mutoko, Muzarabani, Mwenezi,
Nkavi, Raffingora, Ruwa, Seke, Shamva, Shurugwi, Tsholotsho and Zvimba.
Clemency Order handed down by the President in October 2000, which declared that
only those involved in political violence that resulted in murder or rape could
be prosecuted, clearly has had serious effects. Police have taken little action
to protect persons against political violence and in many cases, according to
victims, refuse to take statements from MDC supporters. Some victims refrain
from making reports to the police out of fear of further victimization often
because of a perceived link between the assailants and members of law
enforcement agencies. The police, as evidenced by statements of victims, have
shown little intention of taking the reported matters seriously or investigating
them with diligence.
It is urgent that the Zimbabwean government takes steps
to ensure a climate of peaceful political competition. It is also imperative
that the government ensures that the rule of law is restored, and criminal
charges are brought against all alleged perpetrators, whatever their political
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (also known as the
“Human Rights Forum”) has been in existence since January 1998. Nine
non-governmental organizations working in the field of human rights joined
together to provide legal and psychosocial assistance to the victims of the Food
Riots of January 1998.
The Human Rights Forum has now expanded its objectives
to assist victims of organized violence, using the following
“Organised violence” means the inter-human infliction of
significant avoidable pain and suffering by an organised group according to a
declared or implied strategy and/or system of ideas and attitudes. It comprises
any violent action, which is unacceptable by general human standards, and
relates to the victims’ mental and physical well-being.
The Human Rights
Forum operates a Legal Unit and a Research and Documentation Unit.
member organizations of the Human Rights Forum are:
Amnesty International (Zimbabwe)
The Catholic Commission for
Justice and Peace
The Legal Resources Foundation
The University of Zimbabwe Legal Aid and Advice
Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and the Rehabilitation of
Zimbabwe Human Rights Association
Zimbabwe Lawyers for
Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association
Associate members are:
The Human Rights Forum can be contacted through any
member organization or through the following:
The Administrator, c/o P O Box
5465, Harare – email: email@example.com
The Legal Unit, c/o
P O Box 5465, Harare – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Research Unit
c/o P O Box 5465, Harare – email: email@example.com
792 222, 737 509, and 731 660
All previous reports
of the Human Rights Forum can be found on the website.
US warns Mugabe of election fraud
Robert Mugabe’s government should ensure conditions are in place
elections next year or risk US sanctions aimed at the ruling elite,
official has said.
Mugabe, who faces his strongest political opposition
after 21 years of
power, said on Tuesday a presidential vote would be held in
March next year.
Critics say Mugabe has chosen a biased state body to run
barred millions abroad from voting, and allowed his militant
run a violent campaign against the opposition for over a
US secretary of state for African affairs Walter Kansteiner said
Wednesday that there was still time to ensure a free and fair vote
Zimbabwe, but “time is running out”.
“We have to see some action in
the next few weeks aimed at normalising the
electoral process,” Kansteiner
told reporters in South Africa after visiting
Last week, the US House of Representatives endorsed the Zimbabwe
and Economic Recovery Bill — a stick-and-carrot approach to press
ensure free elections and establish land ownership
The Bill provides incentives for Zimbabwe to return to the
rule of law —
including debt relief, support for new international loans and
But Kansteiner said: “If the
electoral process is deemed not free and
unfair, restrictions could be
imposed on the government elite.”
These actions could include travel and
investment sanctions against Mugabe,
his family and associates. He said
Washington had “information and
intelligence” on assets owned abroad by
Zimbabwe’s ruling elite.
He said free elections would involve access for
the local and foreign media,
a more objective Electoral Commission, and an
end to intimidation and
Mugabe (77) will
make his land appropriation drive a major theme when he
launches his campaign
at a three-day party conference which started in
Nathan Shamuyarira, chief spokesman for the ruling Zanu PF
Mugabe would seek to drum up support for his controversial bid to
white-owned farms for black resettlement — a key plank of the
“The president will launch a vigorous campaign
around our unshakeable
commitment on the land issue, our efforts to revive an
sabotaged by our enemies, our determination to defend the
interests of the
majority and our record as gallant liberation fighters,”
Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since independence from
Britain in 1980, will
square off against his main challenger, Morgan
Tsvangirai, leader of the
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in what is
expected to be a bruising
“Although the outcome of the
election is uncertain there is at least one
thing we are sure about, that
Mugabe will give this election all he has left
in terms of energy, language
and strategy,” said political analyst Emmanuel
Mugabe’s chances of re-election have slipped as the country
struggles with a
battered economy blamed on government mismanagement and the
But the MDC said observers alone would not ensure a free and fair
saying Mugabe had chosen a biased state body to run the elections,
millions abroad from voting, and run a violent campaign against
opposition for over a year.
Militant Zanu PF supporters, led by
some of the country’s independence war
veterans, have continued to occupy
white-owned farms targeted for seizure by
Mugabe’s government. Opposition
supporters have been driven
from the countryside, analysts
Mugabe, who led a seven-year guerilla war for independence in the
vowed that the MDC will never be allowed to take power because it
is a front
for minority whites. — Reuter.
Mugabe must go
Having international monitors will
Monday December 17, 2001
leader, Robert Mugabe, confirmed last week that he intends to
long-awaited presidential election in March and held his first
Friday. His speech and the events of the day provided a clear
how he intends to fight that election: polarising black and
intimidating the opposition. He claimed that there was a
by the British government to demonise him: "There is an
outcry in Britain
that Mugabe is a dictator, is a Hitler, is a Napoleon, is
a devil." He
claimed that the former white ruler, Britain, was backing his
Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change.
earlier, a foretaste was provided of the kind of harassment that
subject Tsvangirai to in the months ahead. Police took
Tsvangirai, a former
textile worker and union organiser, to Harare police
station while his home
was searched. The police excuse was that he had a
two-way radio for which he
had no licence. He was released after four hours.
Mugabe's accusations about
being demonised by Britain and about proxy white
rule will find a resonance
in some quarters in Zimbabwe. The wider
population will be less impressed.
They have many good reasons for voting
out of office a man who, though
successful as a revolutionary leader, has
been a disaster in office. Far from
being a nation-builder, he has brought
to the verge of ruin a country that
was one of the most prosperous in
Africa, with a rural economy that fed not
only its own people but also its
neighbours. The country is close to
bankruptcy, with unemployment running at
60%, record inflation and severe
petrol shortages; Mugabe's decision to take
Zimbabwe into the war in the
Democratic Republic of Congo has contributed to
the economic freefall; and
his encouragement of land-grabs from white
farmers has been disastrous both
economically and in creating civil
It is to be hoped that
the rule of Mugabe, who is 77, is coming to an end.
But everything in his
past - and the temporary arrest of Tsvangirai, as well
as the recent branding
of foreign journalists in Harare as terrorists -
suggests he will not give up
easily. Tsvangirai gave a chilling warning: "We
expect that the MDC will
experience a lot of destabilisation, a lot of
harassment, intimidation, even
murder." Mugabe has promised to admit
international observers to monitor the
election. The sooner they are in
place, the better.
Christmas Message from Lucia Matibenga, chairperson, MDC Womens
The Womens Assembly of the Movement for Democratic Change are
their national project, Women for Peace this Christmas season. We
every woman, every Zimbabwean, and the women of our region and the
pray for peace, human equality and greater understanding and
this world increasingly ravaged by war, hunger and
We call on the women of Southern Africa in particular to join us
out against violence in all its forms, especially violence
women and children.
The role of government in every
country in southern Africa is to protect,
nurture and allow freedom of
opportunity to every citizen, especially women
and children. This
responsibility is being shirked by too many, we as women
need to unite for
peace and secure futures for ourselves and our children.
are our last chance, I urge people in Zimbabwe to use this
to vote or we all will perish.
God has mapped out a golden future for
Zimbabwe if only we trust in Him, and
in ourselves to build a peaceful
tomorrow. Use your vote wisely.
LET US WORK FOR CHANGE,
THE POWER IS IN OUR HANDS
TOSE TICHATEDZISA NYAYA
KUTI VANHU VE ZIMBABWE VAVE NEUPENYU HURINANI
RIRI MUMUOKO EDU
To contact Ms Matibenga call +(263)11757430
Government Denies Accusations of Violence
UN Integrated Regional
December 17, 2001
Posted to the web December 17,
A Zimbabwean government official on Monday denied media reports
army had been deployed in the opposition's Matabeleland stronghold
allegedly intimidating villagers.
The official told IRIN that
the security forces were in the southern
province to "prevent violence, not
He was responding to a news report in the
Johannesburg-based Sunday Times,
which quoted unnamed human rights
organisations as saying that they had been
told by villagers in the province
that soldiers had beaten them up.
Matabeleland was the scene of a "dissident"
campaign in the 1980s which was
suppressed by troops who committed
well-documented atrocities against the
Affairs Minister John Nkomo told delegates at the ruling ZANU-PF
congress in Victoria Falls on Friday that the deployment was an attempt
keep peace in response to "terrorist" attacks on party officials by
opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Mugabe also accused the MMD of "terrorism" at the party
congress, which he
said would not be allowed "to continue unchecked". He
metaphors of war to describe the political campaign ahead of
elections in March.
"This is war, this is not a game. This is the third
You are soldiers of ZANU-PF for the people," he warned
delegates. "When we
come to your province, we must see you ready as the
commanders, when the
time comes to fire the bullet, the ballot, the
trajectory of the gun must be
true," he reportedly said.
government official told IRIN that Mugabe's castigation of the MMD "was
an incitement to violence" but an "exhortation to the party to gear up
the challenges ahead".
Meanwhile, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on
Sunday that he would not be
deterred by police harassment or Mugabe's
rhetoric, according to news
reports. At the weekend Tsvangirai spent a second
day at a Harare police
station where he was charged with using an unlicensed
two-way radio. He
denied that the device belonged to him and insisted it did
not require a
licence. But if convicted he could face two years in
Tsvangirai said the charge was an inconvenience. According to a
report, he was more concerned with the threat of political
has never abandoned violence and we will see more of it
campaign," he forecast. "But we have the support of the people and
determined to see irrevocable change take place in this
Monday, 17 December, 2001, 16:03 GMT
Zimbabwe reports jumbo inflation
Price controls on food have failed to halt
Zimbabwe's inflation rose to a record 103.8% in the year to
November, due largely to increases in the cost of food despite price controls
introduced earlier this year.
The price of beverages, bread and cereals, household operations, rent and
vehicle running costs all contributed to driving inflation up from 97.9% in
October, figures from the Central Statistical Office (CSO) showed.
"Of the 103.8% year
on year rate of inflation ... increases in food prices accounted for 33.1
percentage points while non-food items ... accounted for 70.7 percentage
points," CSO said.
Retailers have been pricing foods at the parallel currency
rates, which given the official exchange rate of Z$55 to the US dollar and the
black market rate of Z$300, has pushed the figure up
The figures were in line with analysts expectations and they expect inflation
to fall again next year.
"Price controls haven't crept into this index and moderated inflation and we
should have lower levels next year after the high base of this year," said Razia
Khan of Standard Chartered.
"Retailers have been pricing foods at the parallel currency rates, which
given the official exchange rate of Z$55 to the US dollar and the black market
rate of Z$300, has pushed the figure up," she said.
Zimbabwe's economic outlook is bleak with government forecasts predicting a
second year of depression.
The economy is expected to contract by 7.3% in 2001 and a further 5.3% in
2002 and unemployment is expected to stay well over 60%.
President Robert Mugabe's controversial land reforms, in which white-owned
farms have been seized for redistribution, have been geared up along with the
Foreign investment has dried up, exports have fallen and most international
lenders, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have cut
Harare Denied HIPC Status
Zimbabwe Standard (Harare)
Posted to the web December 17, 2001
Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have declined to
extend the highly
indebted poor country (HIPC) status to Zimbabwe and
The latest edition of a United Nations newsletter,
Africa Recovery, quotes
the IMF deputy director, Masood Ahmed, as saying: "If
you try and expand the
scope to cover all the poor countries... the magnitude
becomes such that it
is not only completely difficult for the Bank and the
Fund, but it would
actually mean we would have to then close down PRGF
(Poverty Reduction and
Growth Facility) as a facility because it is a
revolving fund and pull out
of support for poorest countries." It is noted
that debt activists have long
argued the eligibility for debt cancellation be
assessed on a case-by-case
The institutions say, in addition to
the 41 countries world-wide that are
potentially eligible for HIPC, there are
at least 11 others which are
urgently in need of debt cancellation, and these
include Zimbabwe and
The past three years have seen
Zimbabwe's once vibrant economy shrink,
throwing a lot of people into poverty
hence it now qualifies for HIPC
Close to 75% of the population
is estimated to be living below the poverty
HIPC relief, apart from Nigeria, point to the grave situation
Zimbabwe, a country the World Bank perceives as 'low-income
In 1996, Zimbabwe had a debt-to-exports ratio of 160%, which is
higher than the HIPC. The case is therefore made that Zimbabwe needs
relief because continued debt-servicing hampers its ability to
urgent health crises such as HIV/Aids, or to spend in vital areas
At independence in 1980, Zimbabwe reportedly spent
1,2 % of its gross
national product (GDP) on debt compared to 9,1% on
Currently, health absorbs 3,5% of GDP, in a country ravaged by
while interest payments on debt account for about 3%. Zimbabwe has
the world's highest HIV infection rates.
Life expectancy, once
in the high 60s, has shrunk to about 42 years. But the
in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where
at one point it was
spending US$3 million a month, further weakened its
Both the IMF
and World Bank have frozen all new lending to the country due
with government authorities, but the resuscitation of donor
crucial to economy recovery.
In order to qualify for HIPC status, the
ratio between a country's debt and
its exports should be no higher than 150%.
Where the ratio of the
debt-to-revenues is used instead, this should not
exceed 250%. The World
Bank reckons that a country with a ratio lower than
150% is earning enough
export revenue to service its debt. The debt is
Contacted for comment, World Bank
resident representative in Zimbabwe, Roger
van De Brink, said he was not
aware of any attempts to have Zimbabwe
included among the
However, Munetsi Madakufamba, a trade research expert and managing
Southern African News Feature confirmed that NGOs had attempted to
status extended to Zimbabwe. But he said Zimbabwe would not qualify
technicality because of the criteria used.
He added that during
the past 24 months Zimbabwe has since met HIPC status,
"that is if we look at
its GDP per capita".
"Although figures for the past 24 months are not yet
available because they
take time to provide, I would like to think that our
GDP per capita during
the period concerned should be below US$200." He said
in terms of debt load
alone, Zimbabwe certainly qualified for HIPC status.
This is despite the
fact that most of the debt is now mainly domestic as the
extensively relied on the domestic market for its borrowing in
Southern African Ministers Hold Talks on Zimbabwe Crisis
17 Dec 2001 01:22 UTC
Southern African defense and foreign
ministers are scheduled to meet Monday
in Angola's capital, Luanda, to
discuss regional political and security
issues including the deepening crisis
Zimbabwe has been in turmoil over President Robert Mugabe's
land redistribution program, in which white-owned farms are
seized and given to landless blacks.
So far the
ministers of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community
resisted putting sanctions on Zimbabwe which faces food shortages,
unemployment and near 100 percent inflation. But South Africa's
Minister Mosiuoa Lekota is quoted as saying that SADC ministers will
tell each other some unpleasant truths if they are going to resolve
During the Angola talks the SADC ministers will also discuss
Angola and the Congolese peace process.
President Mugabe launched his campaign for re-election by
saying he is in
"real war" with his political opponents. He told his ruling
ZANU-F party they
must "move like a military machine" against the opposition
|The Makhosi Irrigation schemes in Matabeleland South
province, one of the region's success stories.|
Photo by BUSANI
Zimbabwe's Give a Dam (GAD) campaign has become a model long-term
solution to drought-related poverty in the country's arid regions such as
Matabeleland South province. GAD's coordinator, Philani Mpofu, explained the
ideas behind the programme, now in its sixth year, to AlertNet correspondent
AN: How did GAD come about?
PM: The idea for the Give a Dam Campaign arose out of the experience
of agencies working in the drought-stricken province of Matabeleland South --
mainly national and international NGOs, government departments, communities of
Matabeleland South represented by six rural district councils coordinated
through the Provincial Administrator and the U.N. Development Programme.
At a meeting with donors to discuss the 1994 drought, the parties decided to
have field assessments of the situation in Gwanda Province. During the encounter
with the communities, a villager brought to the donors' attention that their
relief handouts only consisted of maize without relish. The people then
suggested that rather than give them full rations, the donors should give them
enough to sustain themselves and help them with seed money to build dams. People
wanted water for livestock and irrigation. When donors, NGOs and government
representatives eventually bought the idea, it was easy to pick a name for the
new collaborative effort. During the meetings, people were clamouring for dams,
hence the name Give a Dam campaign. People realised that drought in the region
was recurring almost every year. What was essential, therefore, was to come up
with long-term mitigation measures to empower the affected communities through
The rallying points for the formation of the Give a Dam Campaign were that
drought relief food handouts were not sustainable. The mobilisation of
resources, dam construction and the provision of irrigation infrastructure would
be more effective under the GAD umbrella. This would provide a common forum for
all stakeholders to address the question of equity in the distribution of water
and resources to achieve food security.
BB: Who is behind GAD and how many communities are involved?
PM: GAD is a consortium of national and international NGOs, the
communities of Matabeleland South, represented by their rural district councils,
and the government of Zimbabwe. The participating NGOs bring in their expertise,
equipment and funds through the various Give a Dam committees. The participating
NGOs are the Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP), Dabane
Trust, Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV), German Development Service,
World Vision, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam USA, Lutheran Development Service, CADEC,
Africare, Africa 2000 Network, Christian Care and government agencies which
provide personnel, transport and technical support.
BB: What would you say has been GAD's contribution to food security?
PM: GAD has completed 39 small- to-medium-sized dams, which are used
for livestock watering and irrigation schemes. These dams ensure a constant
supply of water all year round. Eight irrigation schemes are currently
operational, and these have improved the household income of their beneficiaries
and also provided food on their table.
AN: Your organisation has helped to source funding towards dam
building. How many dams have you built and at what cost?
PM. Thirty-nine dams have been built at a cost of approximately
Z$120million (U.S.$2.17 million). The 39 dams are part of the original 47 dams
to be completed within a period of five years. Furthermore, we have managed to
develop eight out of 31 (16 others are at an advanced stage of development)
originally planned irrigation schemes, with a total hectarage of 50. Several
spin off projects like fish farming, cattle fattening, beekeeping, poultry, and
eco-tourism ventures have also been developed.
AN: What tangible benefits have been realised by participants in the
PM: In the past six years, dam site locations have been rationalised
through the forum. It has reduced duplication and saved time in community
mobilisation, as the different partners have managed to address communities
under one roof. In any event, the involvement of rural district councils has
taken partners to communities that would invariably be mobilised already. While
creating a partnership among implementing agencies, rural district councils and
government agencies that has reduced monitoring and approval delays, GAD has
also generally improved the project planning and the implementing process by
providing a pool of expertise from different agencies and a platform for
experience sharing. The programme has opened windows for co-funding which has
facilitated the achievement of the prime objective of water and food security,
as partners who would not otherwise been able to be players now can be.
AN: Community mobilisation and teamwork are challenges in dealing with
projects such as those undertaken by GAD. What problems have you experienced and
how have you overcome them?
PM: Several community dynamics, especially those arising from coerced
community participation, have either retarded the speed of project
implementation or got into the way of the sustainability of the projects. We
have realised that, to ensure sustainability of interventions in the water
sector, there is need for active community participation and democratic
leadership. Problems in coordinating the work of various development agencies in
the water sector in Matabeleland South have led to duplication and fragmentation
of activities by these agencies. Added to that, agencies' resources were not
used in an optimal manner. Catchment conservation and general environmental
concerns have not been sufficiently integrated into the programme. There was a
strong urge to see dams and irrigation schemes developed. This has had a
negative impact on many dams, as a lot of silt is going into the dams
threatening their design life span, and thus their sustainability. On this score
the programme intends to conduct baseline surveys on all its projects and start
planning on how catchment conservation issues can be incorporated.
AN: What are the prospects for the future and where is GAD going?
PM: From June 2002, the programme is going to transform its self into
a GAD Trust, which will be charged with the responsibilities of hosting and
governing the proposed Matabeleland South Integrated Water Programme (MSIWP).
The decision to establish the MSIWP is a response to the initial success of the
GAD Campaign and its growing need for coordination of efforts, avoiding wasteful
competition by development agents and institutions and the quest for
accountability, transparency and sustainability of development interventions and
initiatives in the water development sector in Matabeleland South. The
establishment of the GAD Trust is seen as the necessary move to institutionalise
the envisaged coordinating role of the MSIWP. The Trust will be an independent
organisation with clear mandates enshrined in the constitution. The goal of
MSIWP is to enable women and men in the marginal areas of Matabeleland South to
equally engage in and benefit from water harvesting undertaken in an integrated,
interdisciplinary and environmentally sound manner, in order to improve local
food production and generate cash income.
CFU tells Sadc ministers of worsening crisis
The Commercial Farmers Union has said that despite the mediation of
states to have meaningful dialogue between commercial farmers and
government, nothing concrete has happened yet as government appears to
decided to go it alone without consulting stakeholders.
Taylor-Freeme, the acting president of the CFU, told the Sadc Taskforce
visited Zimbabwe last week that since the CFU’s presentation to the
Heads of State on September 10th 2001, the situation on commercial
continued to deteriorate, with ongoing incidents of violence,
extortion and disruption to farming activities.
“In an escalating number
of cases, commercial farms are being shut down;
already well in to the
agricultural season, to make way for fast-track
main development since the Sadc Heads of State Summit has been
introduction on 9th November 2001 of new legislation through
Instrument 338 of 2001 (SI 338) to amend the Land Acquisition Act
“Before SI 338, landowners were afforded some
protection through Section 8
of the Land Acquisition Act in that their
properties could not be
permanently settled prior to confirmation through the
Under SI 338, service of a Section 8 Order now confers
to the acquiring authority, removes all rights for the
owner to occupy, hold
or use the land, other than to occupy the homestead
area and serves as a
ninety-day eviction notice to landowners. The penalty
for non-compliance is
severe, including the provision for imprisonment of up
to two years.”
The main implication of the amendment, he said, is that
resettlement process can take place prior to any form of
through the courts, and landowners and their workers can be
deprived of their livelihood, long before the matter is
considered in the
courts. At least 90% of CFU members have now been listed
acquisition and are thus immediately vulnerable to the new
“As we speak, Section 8 Orders are being served in most
parts of the
country, particularly the intensive cropping areas of the
provinces. There is no provision for the take-over, management
compensation of standing crops, orchards, plantations or livestock on
“In another disturbing development, the minister of lands,
rural resettlement is allocating farms to applicants under
resettlement A2 Scheme—frequently prior to their acquisition
by even a
Section 8 Order,” said Taylor-Freeme.
The recipients of land
under the A2 resettlement scheme include the
commissioner of police, other
senior ranking police and defence forces
personnel, ministers, members of
parliament, senior civil servants and
ruling party officials.
press statement on 19th November 2001, the minister of lands,
rural resettlement stated that government intends to
legislation to limit land ownership to maximum farm sizes
250-400 hectares in the main cropping areas and up to 2 000
hectares in the
extensive grazing areas.
Virtually all large-scale commercial farms,
including those with Export
Processing Zone permits and Zimbabwe Investment
Centre permits, have thus
been brought into the net.
The effect of SI
338 in combination with the proposed maximum farm size
regulations has been
to exponentially increase the risk of investment in
i.e. agro-based companies and the financial sector.
“The Supreme Court of
Zimbabwe has recently passed a judgement that
completely sets aside the
previous Supreme Court interdict of 21st December
2000 and has declared that
the land acquisition programme has been and is
lawful. The only factual
change since the previous court judgement is that
new Statutory Instruments
have been introduced and a new Supreme Court Bench
has been put in place—the
situation on the ground has in fact deteriorated.
This Supreme Court Order
effectively leaves the Commercial Farmers Union no
further avenue of
challenge in the Courts of Zimbabwe,” he said.
The soya bean crop, 95% of
which is produced by the commercial sector is
already reduced by 60%.
Zimbabwe, which over the past few years has been an
exporter into the region,
will now become an importer. The significance of
this 60% figure is that most
soya bean producers are irrigators and
therefore produce wheat in rotation.
Settlers are planting small patches of
cotton and maize under sophisticated
centre pivots and in irrigation blocks.
These crops will not be harvested in
time to produce a wheat crop.
“So Zimbabwe can expect a significant
decline in wheat production. The
commercial sector produces 90% of the wheat
in Zimbabwe. This last season
the commercial sector produced a good crop of
wheat—only after lobbying long
and hard to government to allow this sector to
plant. The wheat crop should
have been a larger one but many farmers were
still unable to produce. There
have been significant investments into
sophisticated irrigation schemes and
wheat production such as the Biri Dam on
the Manyame River. This scheme
designed for 14 000 ha of wheat now stands
idle and about to go into
liquidation. This is a huge loss to the nation,”
Maize production is on the decline and the commercial
sector which used to
produce 850 000 tonnes is unlikely to produce over 220
000 tonnes most of
which will be grown for staff and livestock on farms. It
is estimated that
no more than 7 000 ha of cotton which includes ARDA will be
to 16 000 ha the previous year.
Up to 30% of the
commercial beef herd has been slaughtered as farmers were
burnt out and herds
driven off farms. Of concern is the female stock that is
but more importantly the pedigree herds, which provide the
on improving the national herd, are being sent to the
tobacco crop, the mainstay of commercial agriculture, which produced
million kg two years ago, is likely to achieve 165 million kg this
the crop is allowed to mature to harvest and be cured.
industry has been particularly damaged with rampant snaring,
destruction of habitat. Its unfortunate that due to the Zimbabwe
hunters and tourists are reluctant to support our wildlife sector and
certainly on the road to collapsing.
Finance approximate 20% of all loans
from Banking Sector are made to
commercial agriculture—if 90% of Farmers stop
farming this will have an
adverse effect on the Financial
“From the above it can be seen that food security in Zimbabwe is
risk. Already, maize has to be imported. Many of the other
also soon be in short supply. The destabilis-ing of
not only have enormous economic impact on Zimbabwe but
also in the Sadc
“Although there was a commitment by
government at Sadc and Commonwealth
meetings to talk to the Commercial
Farmers Union—there has been no real
dialogue. We as major stakeholders have
not been consulted,” he said.
Local Insight—The violence of
By Chenjerai Hove
MANY people must be wondering why there is so
much political violence in
Gokwe (or Gogwe, as villagers call it).
Interestingly enough, that has been
my home area since the early sixties. I
know more about Gokwe than the place
where I was born, just outside
Zvishavane, and on the boundary with another
First, let us accept that Gokwe is the biggest district in the
country, with a population of no less than a million and a half. With
handful of members of parliament to represent the district,
constituencies there are so large that there is not a single member
parliament in the area who has managed to visit all areas of his or
constituency in five years. Some MPs do not even have the slightest
where the boundaries of their constituency are.
with Kwekwe, Gweru, Mata-beleland North (Binga), Kadoma,
To cross the district, never mind the bad roads, you
need to be on the wheel
for a good day of hard driving. Gokwe is Korekore
country, the belt of that
ethnic group stretching from Guruve to Binga,
Kadoma to Binga. Imagine, how
vast this space is.
The other observation about Gokwe is that it is
probably the richest area in
the whole country. There is gold, copper,
millions of tonnes of cotton and
maize, and then the biggest coal mine in
most of the southern African
The sad part is despite so much
cotton and maize coming from there, the
district is the least developed. It
has no roads, no clinics and no schools
in many places.
So the people of
Gokwe are angry and rebellious that the Mugabe government
has ignored them
for so long. Given a clear and non-violent election, all
those millions of
votes would go to the opposition.
The majority of the people there
migrated from all parts of the country in
search of land to farm, and they
actually do farm.
Now, what has all this to do with the violence, you may
since no Gokwe member of parliament has ever stood up, to
violence? There is even a minister from the area who sits in
Harare as a
minister of state, but knowing only too well about the death
all over the district.
In the turbulent years just
before independence, especially in 1977/78,
Gokwe was a military goulash
which beat the imagination of any living
person. Gokwe was a ‘grey’ area as
far as encounters of Zanla and Zipra
forces were concerned and also those of
the Rhodesian soldiers. They were
all hunting each other.
when two elephants fight, it is the grass which suffers. There
were so many
so-called ‘sell-outs’ it was unbelievable. Those of Shona
sell-out their neighbours of Ndebele origin. Those of Ndebele
sell out those of Shona origin to Zipra, and those who were
tortured by the
Rhodesian forces would sell-out both the Shona and the
observing that the military situation was beyond them, the
introduced the Selous Scouts. At the same time they introduced
’s Dzakutsaku, fully armed, as well as Ndabaningi Sithole’s
there were Rhodesians, Pfumo Revanhu, Dzakutsaku, and all sorts
characters wielding guns and sticks. All of them recruited local boys
join their sides. And the local boys decided to take revenge on
neighbours for whatever. You can imagine the killings, the murders, and
refugees who flocked to the cities—Kwekwe and Kadoma, especially. My
and the whole family were part of that exodus, abandoning cattle,
maize in the granaries, everything.
At the time of the
ceasefire, there were all those armed militias in Gokwe.
They could not be
integrated into the national army. So, the Rhodesian
soldiers decided they
had a solution. They called all the militias to
assemble at Nembudzia centre,
just outside the township, using the disguise
that the militias would be paid
and allowed to go home. Many armed youths
came to assemble there,
anticipating to be paid and then sent home. But the
Rhodesian soldiers had
other plans. They realised they had taught these
young people to kill and
torture at will.
After satisfying themselves that all were gathered, they
planes to bomb the youths into extinction. Hundreds were
escaped, but others were bombed as they ran for life. And all
went into mass
graves dug by caterpillars and graders.
happened at Nembudzia where the ruling party has also established a
and torture base. And anyone who wants to see the mass graves of the
is free to do so. I can show you quite a few of them.
and they all went back to pick up the pieces from the
Then came the ‘dissidents’, and Gokwe was once again on the
forefront of the
violence. The new army of Prime Minister Mugabe went to kill
‘sell-outs’ while the ‘dissidents’ did the same. Gokwe was trying to
from the liberation war, and then this. Remember Gokwe was the
area of the infamous Gwesela. And again my father became a
refugee in Kadoma
for the second time, alongside others. Families were
destroyed and hope too vanished.
The ruling party now
claims it is fighting to give people the land; but then
there is a murder and
torture base at Nembudzia where opposition party
members have been tortured,
raped and killed. Once again there are refugees
in Kadoma, Kwekwe and
Gokwe, like Mutoko and parts of Guruve, are no-go areas for anyone
not have a ruling party card. I do not have a ruling party card, or
for that matter, and so I am an exile from my own home. The area has
sealed off by Zanu PF thugs and militias who wield guns, sticks and
so as to stop buses, interrogate passengers and torture people at
Talk of exile: this one is a painful one, especially when inflicted
people I voted for in 1980. I cannot go home to see my aging mother
also frail with age and disease (Gokwe is also the home of
Now, which land does Zanu PF want to distribute in Gokwe? I
The truth is that the violence in Gokwe has nothing at all to do with
land redistribution programme. It is clear political violence based on
ruling party’s strong belief in violence for political gain.
know, from experience and common sense, that when leaders take away
from the people, the people remain like birds without feathers.
But then we
also know that feathers have the stubborn habit of sprouting
again so the
bird can fly. You cannot trim the bird’s feathers forever. One
day it will
• Chenjerai Hove is a renowned Zimbabwean writer.
Mkushi board defies Jonathan Moyo
By our own
The Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust (ZMMT) board has scuttled information
Jonathan Moyo’s plans to set up a 24-hour propaganda radio and TV
after the board refused to resign by the December 1
The ZMMT board, which was fired by Moyo in November, was
supposed to pave
way for a new board to steer the operations of New Ziana in
propaganda blitz for next year’s presidential election from 1
But the board chaired by Harare lawyer, Honour Mkushi, is
said to have cited
a clause in its deed of trust to defy Moyo’s order for
dissolution of the
board by 1 December.
Sources close to the board say
trustees wanted a proper audit to be carried
out before a hand over could be
New Ziana will publish eight newspaper titles circulating in all
provinces with a possibility of the newspapers being given to
Further, a radio and television station will also
be set up under new Ziana
to complement the newspapers.