"We are madly trying to get into the Christmas spirit, the tree was set up and we couldn't wait to decorate it, we forgot the war vets had taken the the chrissy decor. Poor tree, we particularly missed Katies silver star which she made when she was five and it always took pride of place. I hope its shining in some war vet hut its light guiding a new era in. An appeal was sent out and my neighbours sent two boxes full of decorations so now we have a beautiful christmas tree. It seems whatever is taken away from you, comes back bigger and better than ever before. Christmas this year for most Zimbabweans will be a struggle the cost of everything is enormous and most of us can barely put food on the table but what we lack financially we make up in courage and spirit and nobody can take that away. The people of Zimbabwe are the biggest Christmas present a country can have and we just have to keep on standing strong. There is no doubt that there is probably worse to come and we hope we can see it through. I thank everyone who has helped P. and I get through this year and all the wonderful people who encourage us with their emails and letters. I truly hope that the new year brings the change we all truly long for. And what are all my friends and family getting for Christmas? you guessed it handmade rose and lavendar soap with geranium oil.... Merry Christmas to you all and lets hope its a happy Christmas for us all. love m." (Zimbabwe farmer's wife)
"..... disaster with the soap, seems I put too much something in and its now
nestling in an oily like black liquid - I think too much geranium oil. its now
gently soaking on a whole lot of newspapers; it has saturated Mugabe's face so
even the oil knows what to do. We are all actually terrified, thats it, I
said it. We seem to be building up for something horrific - you can smell it
in the air, the first murmurs are always in the compounds where the african
labour live. You can feel the change in the drumbeats and I am sure the
intimidation is really on. There was a rally not so far from home
the africans who attended where severely beaten up, even children on the
women's back were beaten with the butts of rifles by the very people who
should be protecting them. We know if the intimidation is really severe our
most devoted will turn - they have no options. We don't really know what
will happen one day to the next but I feel the fear and I see the downcast
eyes; I have seen it all before and it sends a chill down your spine. lots of
love m." (ZIM. FARMER'S WIFE)
" i cry,you cry,forever.this is where zim is leading
to.economic destruction.all because of one man's ideologies which are
paranoid and far from the reality on the ground.this monster going by the
name of old man Mugabe who is Mozambican by descent should be stopped at all
costs.we can never allow zim to go to the hounds.let the rule of law
return.let freedom of expression return,stop the killings,stop the army from
intimidating the povo in Matabeleland.Lest we forget Gukurahundi
reincarnated.Say no to this.its my country, your country,you and me black and
white.Peace and Love."
War veterans terrorise MDC members in Mashonaland
12/19/01 11:33:33 PM (GMT +2)
SEVERAL MDC supporters in Madziwa and Bindura in Mashonaland
Central province were last week tortured, assaulted or had their houses razed
to the ground by suspected Zanu PF supporters and war veterans, while others
have fled their villages.
Fanuel Muronzi, 46, of Zuva
village in Madziwa, said he was attacked by a group of more than 60 Zanu PF
supporters who burnt more than seven houses at six homes in the village for
allegedly supporting the MDC.
He said this happened last Thursday at
The violent incidents come less than a week after the Southern
African Development Community ministers met in Harare and said President
Mugabe's government was observing the rule of law and that farm invasions
The ministers surprised Zimbabweans when they accused
the media of blowing the issue of violence out of proportion.
attacks come at a time when the Commonwealth is this week expected to discuss
the Abuja Agreement under which the government agreed to respect the rule of
law and human rights.
Muronzi, who had stitches on his head, said he was
struck twice on the head with an axe wielded by an unidentified member of the
group before they torched his main house and kitchen.
wore Zanu PF T-shirts. They accused me of being the MDC ward chairman for the
area. They left me for dead in a pool of blood."
Muronzi said the
assailants also struck him with an axe on the right leg, on which he received
stitches from Madziwa Hospital.
He has fled to Bindura but on Sunday
vowed he would return home to look after his family and resume his farming
"The group forced their way into my bedroom where they
attacked me. I reported the matter at Madziwa police station.
police asked me to come back today (Sunday) so they could recommend a medical
doctor in town to examine my condition," he said.
The police at the
station refused to comment on the matter.
But a junior officer first
agreed there were violent attacks against Zuva villagers but another
policeman intervened and said: "We are in control of the situation. We did
not have such incidents here."
Nicholas Goche, the Minister for State
Security in the President's Office, who is also the MP for Shamva which
includes Madziwa, said on Sunday: "Do not waste your time talking to me. You
better go to the police and ask them about that."
He then switched off
The windows of 73-year-old Elijah Mutanhaurwa's house in
Zuva village were smashed by the assailants.
"They struck me with
chains for supporting the MDC. I will continue to support it. That is my
party," he said.
Mutanhaurwa sustained a swollen back from the attacks
and has fled to Bindura. A four-roomed house and a kitchen belonging to
Martha Muronzi, another villager, were burnt down.
She was inside the
house, but escaped injury.
Her husband, a driver with the Zimbabwe United
Passenger Company (Zupco), was away in Victoria Falls, to where, ironically,
he had ferried Zanu PF delegates for their congress in the resort
Muronzi is the MDC district chairperson.
She said she
reported the matter at Madziwa police station.
"In fact, the police came
to my home and saw this destruction and the attacks on me. They told me to go
the station to get letters for treatment in Bindura."
61, had his kitchen burnt down and his house's windows smashed because his
son 20-year-old son, Elias, stays in Harare.
Elias, a first-year Business
Studies and Computer Science student at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), was
assaulted with chains and had blisters and cuts on his stomach and
"I did not commit any crime. My crime was that I am a UZ student
and live in Harare.
"They said people from Harare spread wrong
messages against Zanu PF," he said, before he broke down in
December 19, 2001 Mugabe accuses US of meddling in Zimbabwe's internal
Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, Tuesday
accused the United States of meddling in his country's internal
Mugabe took great exception to actions by the U.S. House of
Representatives who three weeks ago proposed to impose sanctions on
Zimbabwe's ruling elite whom Washington accuses of sponsoring violence in the
southern African country.
In a State of the Nation address to Members
of Parliament Tuesday, Mugabe said he felt deeply insulted by the actions of
the U.S. lawmakers.
''Frankly the action by American legislators is a
bold insult to the people of Zimbabwe who had to take up arms and die in
thousands not only to set this country free (in 1980) but also to ensure the
full repossession of it,'' Mugabe said.
''More specifically it is an
intolerable insult to the House (Parliament) endowed as it is with the
constitutional right to legislate for Zimbabwe,'' he added.
strongest reaction to the Zimbabwe Democracy Bill by the U.S. House of
Representatives, president Mugabe reminded the United States that even with
all its power and might, it had no right to dictate on his country.
nation, no matter how white and how powerful should turn itself into
an omnipotent juridical entity and from an imagined Mount Sinai start
bellowing orders or commandments on another. We are not at war with United
States and so the behaviours of its legislators is pregnant, provocative and
indeed a gross violation of international law,'' said
International donors have cut aid to Zimbabwe, citing a breakdown
in the rule of law and disappointment with a non-transparent land reform
Mugabe told the legislators: ''I address you against definite
threats to that sovereignty, threats that the nation must take seriously and
gear itself to withstand and repulse in every possible way.''
Zimbabwean leader claimed his government was being punished for redressing
past colonial injustices.
Mugabe hit out at threats of sanctions as his
government continues with a programme to resettle millions of landless blacks
on white-owned commercial farms.
Whites, constituting less than one
percent of the country's population, own more than 70 percent of all the
fertile land, while millions of black peasants eke out a precarious existence
on arid, sandy and rocky soils some of it not fit for good agricultural
The 77-year-old Zimbabwean leader is facing his strongest
challenge to his 21 year-old reign from the labour-backed Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) formed two years ago.
Zimbabweans go to the
polls in March to elect a new president, against a backdrop of a
Zimbabwe's economy is currently going through a
difficult path with an estimate 7.3 percent decline this year. Now ranked
amongst the fastest shrinking economies, Zimbabwe is critically short of fuel
and foreign currency.
HARARE, Zimbabwe President
Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe accused the United States and Britain on Tuesday of
setting up sanctions against his government and vowed to press ahead with a
land seizure program. . Mr. Mugabe said the U.S. Zimbabwe Economic and
Democracy Bill, which is intended to press Harare to ensure free elections
and to protect land ownership, was "a bold insult to the people of
Zimbabwe." . "No nation, no matter how white and how powerful," Mr. Mugabe
said in a year-end speech to Parliament, should "start bellowing orders
or commandments on another." . The bill was endorsed earlier this month
by the U.S. House of Representatives.
the twin threat of sanctions from the US and the European Union (EU) looming,
Zimbabwe is likely to come under renewed pressure this week from the
Commonwealth and the African National Congress (ANC) to restore the rule of
law and improve the climate for a relatively free and fair
In a move signalling growing concern about
Zimbabwe worsening political and economic crisis, Commonwealth
secretarygeneral Don McKinnon is convening an urgent meeting in London
tomorrow of the group's troubleshooting body, the Commonwealth Ministerial
The group which is chaired by Botswana's foreign minister,
Mompati Merafhe and includes UK, Nigerian and Canadian ministers deals with
"serious or persistent violations of democracy, human rights and fundamental
freedoms, the rule of law and good governance".
Commonwealth gave no reason for the meeting, diplomats said it was likely to
be dominated by Zimbabwe.
The fact that Zimbabwe has an elected
government has helped it escape formal censure from the Commonwealth, such as
suspension from its councils and an entry on the Commonwealth group's watch
list of violators.
But the crisis has catapulted Harare onto the agenda
of the group, placing it alongside problematic Commonwealth members such as
Pakistan, which is run by a military junta.
The deepening crisis saw
Zimbabwe stay on the group's agenda for the whole of last
Tomorrow's meeting is seen as part of a last-ditch bid to put
pressure on Harare to ensure the political environment improves ahead of
presidential polls due in March. Resolving Harare's crisis could also prevent
a stand-off at the Commonwealth leaders' summit meeting in
Meanwhile, the ANC confirmed that its chairman, Mosiuoa
Lekota, would lead a party delegation for high-level talks with Zimbabwe's
ruling Zanu (PF) tomorrow. But the party sought to play down talk that this
was an 11th hour bid by Pretoria to ease the crisis.
spokeswoman Nomfanelo Kota said that the meeting, a continuation
of party-level dialogue, would discuss broader political developments
in Zimbabwe, including its land reform programme.
Defence and foreign
affairs ministers of the Southern African Development Community voiced fresh
opposition to sanctions against Zimbabwe yesterday. They insisted that
violence had subsided and Harare was committed to free and fair elections
next year. With Reuters.
Dec 19 2001 06:38:54:000AM John Dludlu and
Pule Molebeledi Business Day 1st Edition
Thugs back on rampage as Mugabe moves to ban free
Zimbabwean farm manager Duncan Cook is comforted by his girlfriend
Ursula Frost in a Harare hospital yesterday after he was struck on the side
of his head with a machete by a government official.
legislation that has been likened to the worst excesses of the apartheid era
in South Africa will be pushed through parliament in Harare this week,
effectively outlawing President Robert Mugabe's political opponents and
stifling free speech.
The reforms allow Zimbabwe's police to ban
political gatherings at will and prosecute anyone who attends a meeting where
the government is criticised.
They effectively ban opposition
political parties and end freedoms of association, speech and movement, and
are expected to seriously impair efforts to mount a credible campaign to
challenge Mr Mugabe in the presidential elections in
Details of the Public Order and Security Bill, which was
tabled this week, emerged yesterday as a farm manager, Duncan Cooke, became
the latest victim of Mr Mugabe's thugs.
Mr Cooke (25) was attacked
on Butleigh Farm, 80 miles north of Harare, by six government officials
inspecting his employer's land for resettlement after he asked them to move
their car to make way for a tractor. He was slashed with a panga and has
serious head wounds.
Outside the private hospital in Harare where Mr
Cooke underwent surgery there was alarm on the streets about the new
legislation, which will affect the lives of every person in the country -
including tourists, who will be arrested if found not carrying
Tawanda Hondora, chairman of Lawyers for Human Rights,
said: "Criticising the president will be a criminal offence, and any
political party campaigning in presidential elections will seek to do that,
and the sentence is 10 years' imprisonment, or a heavy fine, or
Mr Hondora said: "This bill is worse, by far, than any
previous colonial legislation in this country or in apartheid South Africa.
It is unprecedented and ends all freedoms of movement, speech and
association guaranteed under the constitution."
The Bill also
introduces heavy sentences for petty acts, such as throwing a stone at a
government building, which can be construed as terrorism and which could
carry a sentence of 20 years or life imprisonment.
also hopes to push through legislation making it a criminal offence for any
journalist, foreign or domestic, to work if not licensed by the
Dec. 18 — Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe left for Libya on Tuesday for
talks on possible further aid to help ease a fuel shortage, state television
reported. In its brief report, it did not elaborate on what form the
aid would take, or how long Mugabe's visit would last.
has emerged as a key foreign ally of Mugabe, increasingly isolated on the
international scene over his controversial drive to seize white-owned farms
for redistribution to blacks. In August, Zimbabwe's state media reported that
the country had received 33 million litres (seven million Imperial gallons)
of fuel from Libya, the first consignment of a one-year deal to improve fuel
supplies, which have been erratic since 1999.
Zimbabwe preps to limit media freedoms December 19, 2001 Posted:
12:34 PM EST (1734 GMT)
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- The Zimbabwean
government again slammed South Africa's media on Wednesday, accusing its
neighbor's "apartheid press" of demonizing President Robert Mugabe and his
controversial land reform programme.
Information and Publicity
Minister Jonathan Moyo said the ruling ZANU-PF party was keen to pass a law
this week critics say will curb media freedoms ahead of presidential
elections set for March.
"The apartheid press has raised the level of
propaganda to what we now find totally unacceptable," Moyo said of the South
African media's reporting of a deepening crisis in Zimbabwe.
not have regional peace as long as the apartheid press is allowed to continue
as the leading mouthpiece...We are saying they must now be brought to book,
because what they are doing is criminal. They want a region which is at war
with itself," Moyo told reporters.
Last week, Zimbabwe's high
commissioner to South Africa accused the country's journalists of
"nauseating" bias in their reporting on Zimbabwe.
Media bill Mugabe's
crackdown on the opposition ahead of elections, and his controversial plans
to seize white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks, have come
under heavy criticism from domestic and international media.
organizations have also criticized Zimbabwe's proposed new media bill, which
threatens jail terms for journalists who violate new regulations and bars
foreigners from working as correspondents in the country.
Moyo said the
bill would become law this week.
"We expect our legislative agenda to
(be) complete tomorrow ...so that we can go and deal with the business of
campaigning," Moyo said.
Zimbabwe media unions have vowed to ignore the
bill and said they would challenge it in court.
journalists Moyo said the South African media's reporting on Zimbabwe would
be discussed during talks on Thursday with a visiting delegation from South
Africa's ruling African National Congress.
"If the apartheid press
expects us to treat them with kid gloves and allow them to roam around our
country, then they don't understand where they are," Moyo said.
month, Zimbabwe's government threatened to treat six journalists working for
foreign media organizations as "terrorists" after accusing them of filing
false reports on political violence.
Mugabe, who has led Zimbabwe since
independence from Britain in 1980, faces his strongest political challenge in
the March poll from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led
by Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mugabe accuses Zimbabwe's privately owned media of
being used against him by his local and international opponents, led by
former colonial ruler Britain.
On Wednesday Moyo singled out British
Prime Minister Tony Blair among European leaders he accused of failing to
understand the politics and history of Africa.
"You have young people
running some of the countries who are very ignorant...and the chief ignoramus
is Tony Blair," Moyo said.
BEFORE 1998, relations between what was then Zaire and
Zimbabwe would not have been characterised as "cosy".
Zimbabweans, Zaire conjured up images of a hedonistic lifestyle, presided
over by the ruthless and corrupt dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, and the coarse
Kwasa Kwasa dance. But with the involvement of the Zimbabwe National Army
(ZNA) on behalf of the late Laurent Desire Kabila against the rebel forces
backed by Uganda and Rwanda, a whole new vista was opened up.
graduated into almost "intimate" as far as business relations were concerned.
Even as the Congolese people butchered each other, Zimbabwean entrepreneurs
were encouraged by their government to venture into that country to do
business. The misery of the Congolese people was tailor-made for enterprising
businesspeople, preferably devoid of any conscience, to reap huge profits for
At the centre of the government involvement was the
present Speaker of Parliament, Emmerson Mnangagwa. The list of joint ventures
has included Osleg (Pvt) Ltd, Comiex Cargo, Cosleg, Oryx-Zimcon (Pvt) Ltd,
Oryx Natural Resources Ltd, Segamines, Senga-Senga, and Petra Diamonds - to
name a few.
The army was involved in almost all the ventures, as was Zanu
PF, which runs its businesses under the umbrella of its conglomerate, Zidco
Holdings (Pvt) Limited. Questions of morality were asked about the
commercialisation of Zimbabwe's intervention in what became the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) after the senior Kabila's victory over the
rebels. The financial cost of the intervention for the Zimbabwean taxpayer
was enormous and to offset some of it, joint ventures were entered into
between the two governments, the profits of which would be used to pay
Reports of senior Zimbabwean army personnel raking in millions
in profits from their mining concessions in the DRC were given much currency
when the government seemed to declare that the troops would not be pulled out
until every "foreign" soldier had left. These soldiers included Congolese
troops fighting with the rebels, with whom they share an ethnic
affinity. Zimbabwean soldiers have no such links with the DRC. Then there
were reports of the ZNA assisting the Interahamwe, the Hutu militias said to
have been largely responsible for the massacre of Tutsis and moderate Hutus
in Rwanda in 1994. By the time the United Nations published its first
report on the looting of the DRC natural resources by the alien armies,
Zimbabwe was deeply involved in the mining and commercial sector of that
The first UN report in April was surprisingly silent on
Zimbabwe's role in the exploitation of the DRC resources. But the latest
report, which has raised hackles with the government in Harare, was - to many
neutral observers - more accurate. It may indeed contain exaggerations
here and there, but it captures fairly accurately the illegitimate
involvement of the government in the economy of the DRC, when its original
intention was the humanitarian one of helping the Congolese people achieve
peace and unity.
Rwanda and Uganda were accused in the first UN report of
plundering the DRC's natural resources and some of their senior soldiers were
named as the culprits. Their governments pledged to punish them. But the
Zimbabwean government's immediate reaction was to reject out of hand all the
accusations of wrongdoing. This is not right at all.
The government has
gone far beyond the humanitarian goal of bringing peace and unity to the
DRC. It is now launched on an income-generating venture in the DRC and ought
to be ashamed of itself. The suspicion is that the government, perennially
strapped for cash because of economic mismanagement at home, wants to prolong
the conflict in the DRC for financial gain. The intervention was always going
to be costly, one way or the other. Today, the political chickens of that
blunder have come home to roost.
not tolerate domestic terrorism in Zimbabwe
12/19/01 10:30:06 PM (GMT
By 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.
Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, Canada and other Western nations rightly
praised Mugabe for expanding health and education facilities.
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, 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 Organisation, a State security body that acts as an agency of
Zanu PF, the ruling party.
Newspapers have seen their presses smashed.
Media personnel 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 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 organised
opposition - based among black and white trade union members, large and
small-scale commercial farmers, professionals, academics and businessmen -
has continued to grow. Mugabe has sought to destroy the credibility of the
opposition by portraying its members as tools of Zimbabwean whites (now
barely 0,5 percent of the population) and outsiders.
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 percent 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
Officially, 21 black and nine 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.
Mugabe's actions have
isolated him from Southern African Development Community (Sadc) partners.
Though he told a visiting Sadc team last week that the presidential election
would be held in March, they remain (diplomatically) critical of Zimbabwe's
mismanagement and concerned about the destabilising effects on their own
countries. As the presidential election approaches, 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, demonising 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 lodgers who are reeling under
the declining economy, largely MDC supporters, face disenfranchisement in a
government move to reduce the number of urban voters.
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?
implement measures that would have a direct impact on 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 United States 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 this week, provides us with an opportunity to join African and
European countries, and the US in condemning such abuses.
We must reduce
the ability of 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.
ZIMBABWEAN commercial farmers,
apprehensive about the country's political future, are seeking farmland in
Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, apart from Mozambique.
Commercial Farmers' Union officials said last Thursday they did not document
cases of members who left the country, dozens of farmers are believed to have
settled in Zambia over the past year while others were considering investing
in Malawi and Uganda.
But officials at the Malawi and Zambia high
commissions in Harare denied any farmers from Zimbabwe had moved to their
They said they had only received enquiries from local farmers
about investment opportunities in their countries. Uganda has also received
Some local farmers said scores of their colleagues
were already farming in Zambia.
At least a dozen Zimbabwean farmers
have already relocated to Mozambique where they have been allocated 4 000
No drama on Zimbabwe LUANDA - Angola, hosting a
meeting of southern African defence and foreign ministers, urged its regional
partners to declare Unita rebels fighting a 26-year civil war a "terrorist"
Ministers from the 14-member Southern African Development
Community (Sadc) are meeting in Luanda to discuss conflicts in Angola, the
Democratic Republic of Congo and to activate a regional defence
The ministers will also receive an informal briefing on the
deepening political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.
the United States-led war against international terrorism, is pressing to
have the rebels led by veteran guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi declared a
"This is contentious issue. It is a hot potato," a
delegate said on the sidelines of the two-day talks.
some states were resisting being drawn into Angola's agenda, which if agreed
upon, could derail prospects for a peaceful resolution to Africa's longest
They said Angola's strategy was inspired partly by the
United States' inclusion of three east African rebel groups in a new
"terrorist exclusion list".
The US list, which named 39 groups, did
not include Unita, which enjoyed US support during the Cold War against the
then Russian and Cuban-backed Luanda government.
In October, the new
US ambassador to Angola said Washington wanted to help the country return to
Angolans have known little but war since the country gained
independence from Portugal in 1975, sparking a conflict interrupted only
briefly by shaky peace agreements.
The last deal, known as the Lusaka
Protocol, was signed in 1994 and collapsed four years later when the
government attacked Unita, accusing Savimbi of breaking the United
Government forces have stripped Unita of its
capacity to wage conventional war, but diplomats say Luanda is locked into a
guerrilla war it cannot totally win.
The ministers will be briefed on
developments in Zimbabwe, the region's biggest crisis, but a senior Zambian
official said: "Don't expect any drama on the Zimbabwe issue. It will just be
a briefing and an assessment of the situation there."
Sadc has been
sharply criticised for failing to take tough action against Zimbabwe, where
President Mugabe has approved the sometimes violent seizure of land from
white farmers and ignored the intimidation of political foes by his ruling
Zanu PF party.
A Sadc delegation to Zimbabwe last week rejected any form
of sanctions against Mugabe's government, saying it would hurt not only the
former British colony but its neighbours in the region.
severe food shortages, rising unemployment, inflation near 100 percent and a
lack of foreign exchange, symptoms of its worst economic and political crisis
Mugabe blames Western governments which oppose his land
redistribution plan for the country's misfortunes.
His opponents say
the crisis is due to years of government mismanagement and a violent campaign
by the ruling Zanu PF to cling to power.
Another issue at the talks is
the fragile peace process in Congo, where more than two million people have
died since the start of a war that has been called Africa's First World
"The peace process in the Congo will be looked at critically to see
how we can advance it further," South African Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota
Congo's devastating civil war began in 1998 when rebels backed by
Uganda and Rwanda sought to overthrow the late President Laurent
Angola, Zimbabwe and Namibia sent troops to support
Kabila was assassinated in January and succeeded by his son Joseph,
who has helped to rejuvenate peace efforts. - Reuter
Dec. 19 — Australia's Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said on Wednesday the
Commonwealth's democracy watchdog should put Zimbabwe formally on its agenda
-- the first step to possible suspension from the organisation
said ministers from the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, meeting in
London on Thursday, should review whether the reported violence and
intimidation in Zimbabwe meant it had violated the Commonwealth's code of
good governance. Ministers ''ought to consider...inscribing Zimbabwe
onto the agenda of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) and
therefore giving consideration to whether Harare is in breach of the
Commonwealth basic declaration,'' Downer told BBC radio. ''You can
suspend countries from the Commonwealth if they are in breach of
the...declaration,'' said Downer, whose country will host a Commonwealth
summit next March. CMAG ministers from Australia, Bangladesh,
Barbados, Botswana, Britain, Canada, Malaysia and Nigeria will meet in London
on Thursday for talks on Zimbabwe. In recent meetings they have
suspended both Fiji and Pakistan following military coups, but their talks on
the violent campaign of farm occupations in Zimbabwe have been restricted to
informal discussions because President Robert Mugabe's government holds power
through recognised elections. ''Australia thinks (the Commonwealth
declaration) means that a country has to be governed according to the rule of
law, and human rights have to be observed,'' Downer said. ''It's
not just a question of whether the government itself was elected in a
democratic way.'' Downer said the Commonwealth ministers should also
maintain pressure on Mugabe to allow international observers to oversee
presidential elections in March. ''In the leadup to these elections
there has been a lot of substantial evidence of political harrassment. You
could only expect that to continue unless there is some greater scrutiny of
what is going on on the ground in Zimbabwe,'' he said. Downer said
''absolutely nothing'' had improved in Zimbabwe since Mugabe's government
pledged in September to end the violent occupation by its supporters of
white-owned farms. ''There has just been a continuation of political
violence and political harrassment over the last couple of months,'' he said.
''That's why the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group will have to talk
about the issue yet again.''
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday evaded key
national issues in his State of the Nation address in
These include hyper-inflation, high interest rates, a
60 percent unemployment rate, poverty and the political violence since last
year's parliamentary election.
Instead, Mugabe said to foster national
pride and commitment as well as inculcating the country's national heritage
in the youths, "the government is introducing a foundation course on National
Strategic Studies, which will be compulsory for all students in our tertiary
He said in the same context, the pilot national youth
service scheme was launched at the Border Gezi Training Camp in Mount Darwin
last month where 1 000 youths constituted the initial intake.
said: "I wish to urge all Zimbabweans to maintain peace and calm as a norm of
our society and proceed to vote in that selfsame atmosphere during the
forthcoming presidential election."
He attacked the United States House
of Representatives for passing the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery
Act, as an insult to the liberation struggle and Zimbabwe's sovereignty.
SOUTH AFRICA: Policy divisions on Zimbabwe According to IRIN
reports that the soft approach that South Africa has used with regards to
Zimbabwe is indicative of the fact that there is no real policy consensus
with regards to the issue. A high-level ANC delegation is set to arrive in
the country in order to discuss the issue of political violence with
President Mugabe. The reason for these party-to-party talks is unclear to
some although there are suggestions that this is just another method that the
government has sought to try. But this argument is weak in the face of the
fact that the government has chosen to work through SADC and in so doing
refrain from taking a tough individual stance against Mugabe.
S.Africa on last ditch mission to Zimbabwe
PRETORIA, Dec. 19
— South Africa's ruling African National Congress is sending a high-level
delegation to Zimbabwe on Thursday in a last-ditch bid to save its northern
neighbour from chaos, a senior official said. ''This is a (ruling) party to
party visit. We need to exchange views on how to best address the situation
in Zimbabwe,'' ANC national chairman Mosiuoa Lekota told Reuters.
Lekota, also South Africa's defence minister and a senior member of the ANC's
policy-making National Executive Committee, said the visit was initiated by
the ANC. ''We think discussions can help to advance us (Zimbabwe and
South Africa) to an amicable solution to the Zimbabwe problem. There is
still hope, we are hopeful,'' he said in an interview. Lekota said
the talks would centre on Zimbabwe's land reform programme and next year's
presidential elections. It was unclear whether the ANC delegation, to include
Deputy President Jacob Zuma, would meet President Robert Mugabe.
The visit comes two days after ministers from the 14-nation Southern African
Development Community (SADC) voiced fresh opposition to sanctions against
Zimbabwe, insisting violence had subsided and Mugabe was committed to free
and fair elections. SADC, which includes South Africa, has been
criticised for failing to respond strongly to Mugabe's approval of the often
violent seizure of white-owned farms and the intimidation of political foes
by his ZANU-PF party.
ZANU-PF IS LAST HOPE South African
President Thabo Mbeki said last month the situation in Zimbabwe was getting
worse and may deteriorate further if presidential elections were not free and
fair. Mbeki also said South Africa opposed a ''confrontational''
approach to Zimbabwe's most divisive problem -- redistributing to landless
blacks farmland owned by whites. The South African rand has sunk to
record lows partly due to events in Zimbabwe. Lekota said the
mission's hope was to influence leaders of Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party, an
ANC comrade-in-arms during the struggle against apartheid and white rule in
former Rhodesia, to in turn positively influence Mugabe's
government. ''If we were able to persuade the political leadership, in
this case ZANU-PF, to impact positively on the government, then we would have
achieved something,'' Lekota said. ''We are taking this action with
a hope that we might be able to produce a different result, a positive
result. This is our hope,'' Lekota, also a confidante of Mbeki,
said. Other senior South African government officials doubted the
mission would achieve any of the desired results. ''Its really hard
to see what we could achieve from this visit. The South African government
has tried hard, really hard, to help Zimbabwe. But all we have received from
the Zimbabweans are slaps in our faces,'' a senior official said.
Mugabe, who hopes to extend his 21 years in power at presidential elections
in March, has compared his party's political campaign to a military
operation. ''I think its too ambitious to think Mugabe would eat
humble pie and retract his inflammatory messages. It is also naive to think
Zimbabwe's problem was about land. It's political, its about Mugabe's
personal survival,'' the official added. The Movement for
Democratic Change, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, poses the strongest challenge to
Mugabe since he led the country to independence from Britain in 1980.
TUNIS, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Libyan officials held talks on
energy cooperation on Wednesday with ministers from Zimbabwe, suffering from
a fuel shortage, state media said.
Herbert Murerwa and Edward
Chindori-Chininga, respectively Zimbabwe industry and international trade and
Mines and Energy ministers met Libyan Economy and Foreign Trade Minister
Abdessalam Ejuweir and officials from Libyan state-owned Oil Investment
Corporation, Libyan news agency Jana said.
"The two delegations discussed
the cooperation between the two countries in trade, economy and energy,"
Jana, monitored in Tunis, added.
Murerwa and Chindori-Chininga are
accompanying President Robert Mugage who, according to Libyan media, arrived
in Tripoli early on Wednesday for an official visit.
television has said Mugabe left Harare for Libya on Tuesday for talks on
possible further aid to ease the country's fuel shortage.
Muammar Gaddafi is a key ally of Mugabe, increasingly isolated on the
international scene over his controversial drive to seize white-owned farms
for redistribution to blacks.
In August, Zimbabwe's state media had said
the country received 33 million litres (seven million imperial gallons) of
fuel from Libya, the first consignment of one-year deal to improve fuel
supplies, which have been erratic since 1999.
In September, Gaddafi
urged the General People Congress, Libya's top legislative and executive
body, to provide more aid to Zimbabwe, including direct investment in
agriculture and leisure.
Mugabe seeks more oil from Libya
The president of Zimbabwe, Robert
Mugabe, is in Libya for talks with Colonel Gadaffi on possible further aid to
help ease Zimbabwe's crippling fuel shortages.
The Zimbabwean Energy
and Transport Minister, Edward Chindori-Chininga, who is accompanying Mr
Mugabe, said that under a deal agreed earlier this year, Libya was supplying
70% of Zimbabwe's fuel requirements.
Traditional suppliers such as Kuwait
have cut off oil because of Zimbabwe's acute shortage of the hard currency
needed to pay for it.
Correspondents say the Libyan leader has emerged as
a key ally of President Mugabe as he faces growing criticism from Western
countries over his support for the forced seizure of white-owned
Colonel Gadaffi has approved the land reform programme and
described Mr Mugabe as a hero.
will end freedoms of association, speech
Peta Thornycroft The
Daily Telegraph HARARE - Tough legislation that has been likened to the worst
excesses of the apartheid era in South Africa will be pushed through
parliament in Harare this week, effectively outlawing President Robert
Mugabe's political opponents and stifling free speech.
allow Zimbabwe's police to ban political gatherings at will and prosecute
anyone who attends a meeting where the government is criticized.
effectively ban opposition political parties and end freedoms of association,
speech and movement.
The new law is expected to impair efforts of
opposition activists to mount a credible campaign to challenge Mr. Mugabe in
the presidential elections in April.
Details of the Public Order and
Security Bill, which was tabled this week, emerged yesterday as a farm
manager, Duncan Cooke, became the latest victim of Mr. Mugabe's
Mr. Cooke, 25, was attacked on Butleigh Farm, 130 kilometres north
of Harare, by six government officials inspecting his employer's land
for resettlement after he asked them to move their car to make way for
a tractor. He was slashed with a panga, a large knife similar to a
machete, and has serious head wounds.
Outside the private hospital in
Harare where Mr. Cooke underwent surgery, there was alarm on the streets
about the new legislation, which will affect everyone in the country,
including tourists. They will be arrested if found not carrying
"Criticizing the President will be a criminal offence, and any
political party campaigning in presidential elections will seek to do that,
and the sentence is 10 years' imprisonment, or a heavy fine, or both,'' said
Tawanda Hondora, chairman of Lawyers for Human Rights.
He said the
effect of the new law will be to ban any political party -- including the key
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, led by Morgan
Tsvangirai -- that challenges the ruling Zimbabwean African National
Unity-Patriotic Front party.
Anyone who publishes any information likely
to "excite people or express dissatisfaction with the president, the
government or the police'' will have committed an offence.
is worse, by far, than any previous colonial legislation in this country or
in apartheid South Africa," Mr. Hondora said.
"It is unprecedented and
ends all freedoms of movement, speech and association guaranteed under the
It also introduces heavy sentences for petty acts, such
as throwing a stone at a government building, which can be construed as
terrorism and which could carry a sentence of 20 years or life in prison.
Anyone dissatisfied with the way a policeman discharges his duties and
complains could go to prison for 10 years.
Under the new legislation,
police can detain suspects for seven days before bringing them to court and
bail would automatically be denied for those accused of terrorism, murder and
The government also hopes to push through other repressive
legislation that will make it a criminal offence for any journalist, foreign
or domestic, to continue working if not licensed by the government. Another
piece of pending labour legislation will outlaw all strikes.
government said Zimbabwe's embattled economy had broken through the
100% inflation barrier for the first time in the nation's history, despite
price controls enforced since October.
THE police and CIO
officers in Marondera are alleged to have laid false charges against seven
MDC members, locking them up in custody and later beating them severely with
batons and clenched fists.
Edmore Muleya, 26, Ibraham Chalamanda, 24,
Herbert Chapendama, Paul Jera, Munyaradzi Mupazviripo, Penifara Diamond and
Tichaona Chihota (ages unknown) were arrested on Friday last week after being
charged with attempted murder.
Muleya alleges that three detectives
came to his home in Dombotombo township and ordered him to accompany them to
the police station.
"They said they wanted to question me on a case they
were investigating," said Muleya.
"They took a banner from my home
which was inscribed Vote Morgan Tsvangirai and said the banner would be very
useful in their investigations."
Muleya alleges the officers took him to
the police station where a charge of attempted murder was laid against him
but a docket was not opened.
He said: "Later on I was taken to the CID
offices for questioning.
Two of the officers identified as Gidza and
Muuya started asking about my political affiliation and what the campaign
strategy for the MDC was.
I was struck with whips and forced to drink a
10 litre bucket full of water and when I could not finish, my head was dipped
into the bucket."
Chalamanda said when the other five members and himself
heard that Muleya had been arrested, they went to the police to
On the way they met a uniformed policemen and two detectives
driving a blue Mazda B1600.
The officers told Chalamanda they were
looking for him to identify people who had burnt his house a week
Chalamanda said when they arrived at the police station they
were met by two armed policemen, one of whom identified as Arthur
He alleges they were accused of petrol bombing the house of
Douglas Chitekuteku, a war veteran, two weeks ago.
"We were accused of
celebrating in favour of the United States' Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic
Recovery Bill and Thabo Mbeki's attacks on President Mugabe's
A portrait of Mugabe was placed in front of us and we were
asked for our opinions about him," said Chalamanda.
They were severely
assaulted and taken to Macheke charge office where they were held in police
custody until Monday.
Said Chalamanda: "On Monday the head of the
CID, called Jambawa, said we were free to go but should not reveal our ordeal
for we were not going to appear in court because investigations were still
Dainiano Muchetuse, the MDC district chairman confirmed that
the incident had occurred. The officer-in-charge for Marondera police
station, Inspector William William could not comment on the matter over the
ZIMBABWEANS applying for
visas to Canada allege the Canadian High Commission is charging too much for
It costs $13 490 to process one visa. The
money is not refundable.
One applicant said she had put her
two-year-old-son and herself on the same form but was asked to pay for two
people. "I am bitter because after paying $ 26 990 as the processing fee
my application was turned down," she said.
Many other visa applicants
complained that the interview was like an interrogation.
that I wanted to go for a holiday to Canada but the interviewer at the
commission asked me why I had chosen Canada instead of other countries," said
"I had US$2 000 (about $112 000) as proof of funding
but I was told it was not enough to fend for me and my son for the two weeks
we would be in Canada," said one applicant.
Steve Hawley, the first
secretary at the Canadian High Commission, said the processing fees were
stipulated for visitors to Canada from other countries.
He said the
Canadian visitor visa requirements stipulated that any processing fee is not
refundable in case the applicant withdraws.
Hawley said: "We are not in a
position to release information concerning the number of applications and
visas issued since the visa requirement was imposed on 5 December
The Canadian embassy said the requirement for a visa was in
response to the increasing number of people claiming refugee status from
In addition, it was intended to address the concerns of
improperly documented travellers to Canada.
Over the past year
Zimbabwe has become the fourth largest source of refugee claimants to